Siam Piwat Simon Co, the operator of Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok in Samut Prakan, is negotiating with international fashion brands to open their shops at its outlet to lure shoppers in the second half of the year.
Michael Tang, the company’s managing director, said the talks are a partial response to the government’s roadmap to reopen the country by mid-October.
“Although foreign tourist arrivals are likely to expand by 1-2% this year, Thailand is expected to see signs of recovery from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreaks sometime next year,” he said.
“Thailand is expected to resume normalcy in 2023-24, while new international fashion brands will help raise the amount of customer traffic to our premium outlet.”
According to Mr Tang, France’s leading handbag maker Longchamp decided to open a store at its outlet in August this year.
Ecco, the Danish premium shoe brand, is scheduled to open its shop sometime in the second half of the year.
The company is negotiating with three international fashion brand names, expecting to finalise the deals in the next three months.
In the first half of the year, Siam Piwat Simon added luxury fashion, lifestyle and merchandise for children to its stable. Either permanent shops or pop-up stores are planned for Reebok, Browne & Co, Pierre Cardin, bamboo fabric sleepwear Vintel, and sleepwear and casual attire brand Josilins.
“Thailand retains the interest of foreign investors. Luxury goods perform well here, similar to retail stores in downtown Bangkok,” he said.
According to Mr Tang, customer traffic at its outlet from January to April was good, before it saw a hiccup in May when the traffic fell by 50% because of the government’s restriction measures and daily reports of 3,000 to 4,000 new infections a day.
However, he said traffic has now turned around by 20-30%.
According to Mr Tang, Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok, which is moving into its second year, aims to connect online and offline shopping this year in response to not only the digital age but also the new normal of consumer behaviour.
The company provides many platforms, from its website, Facebook, Instagram and Chat & Shop online shopping service to its Line official account.
“Given that the pandemic remains a problem everywhere in the world, it is quite challenging,” he said.
“We have learned to adapt, adjust and redefine our business approaches and create new strategies to keep the business going forward in the midst of restrictions. Nonetheless, we will closely watch the Phuket sandbox in early July before moving any further.”
Some 95% of the outlet’s customers are Thai, with 5% expatriates.
Due to the pandemic, the firm will focus its marketing drive on domestic consumers with high purchasing power.
Siam Piwat Simon expects to attract 1 million shoppers in the second half this year and 2 million for the full year if there is not a new outbreak.
Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok is a joint venture between Siam Piwat Co and the US property firm Simon Property Group, owner of the popular Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in the US and Gotemba in Japan.