Central Group

Company Background
Retailing is where Central Group's history began and it continues to be the major business. Central Retail Corporation is one of the largest and most diversified retail groups in Thailand, covering Department Stores (Central, Robinson, Zen, La Rinascente; Italy), Specialty Stores (Powerbuy, Supersport, B2S, Homework, Office Depot, Thai Watsadu), supermarkets (Central Food Hall, Tops Market, Tops Super, Tops Daily).

Central Group's business started as family outlet in 1927 which Mr Tiang Chirathivat established. In 1957, Mr Samrit Chirathivat whose is son of Mr. Tiang expanded business and established the first Central Department Store in Wang Burapha in Bangkok. This first Central Department Store is also the first department store in Thailand.




In 1974, Central group has expanded the larger business by introducing Central Chidlom and Central Ladphrao in 1982.

In 1995, Central group took over Robinson Department Store

In 1996, the company started to expand more businesses by establishing specialty stores including Supersports, Power Buy, Office Depot, HomeWorks, B2S and Tops and this helped CRC grow over time to become Southeast Asia's largest retail group.

In 2006, CRC repositioned its family chain of supermarkets into four distinct retail formats, namely Central Foodhall - the best food store in Asia, Tops Market - the best international supermarket in Thailand, Tops Super - everyday supermarket, and Tops Daily – mini supermarkets for convenient shopping.

In 2010, Central Online Shopping was launched as another alternative lifestyle channel for our shoppers. In the same year, CRC launched a new business line of financial services called "Central Smart Insure – Guanranteed Happiness" to provide insurance sales and service.

In the same year, CRC recently expanded its retail business beyond Thai borders with the opening of its first international Central department store branch in Hangzhou, China, followed by the openings of Zen and Central department store in Shenyang in 2011 and expect to open Central in Chendu in 2012

Early 2011, CRC announced the plan to develop "Central Embassy" project, which will become an iconic retail landmark of Asia situated on the the Wireless and Ploenchit Road junction, with its stunning architecture and best selection of high-end brands, catering to a global audience of tastemakers and opinion formers. Upon completion, Central Embassy will be a 37-floor complex comprising an 8-story retail and lifestyle podium and a 29-floor luxury hotel tower, Park Hyatt Bangkok hotel, sprawling over a total area of 144,000 square meters. Central Embassy will be opened in 2013. Central Retail builds up an important company's reputation by expanding its business to Europe in 2011. Central Retail acquired La Rinascente, number one luxury department store in Italy with 11 locations across the country. Its flagship store Milano Piazza Duomo in Milan is a true point of reference for high quality shopping, with 7 floors devoted to the best fashion, beauty, accessories, lingerie, houseware, and a gourmet foodhall. The store also features a Design Supermarket offering hundreds of brands, from living to lifestyles. At the end of 2011 Central Retail has had over 500 stores nationwide, with their combined retail space of 2.1 million square meters.

Over more, CRC also is in joint venture with Watsons (Asia's leading personal care retailer) and France's Casino Group, operating Big C Hypermarket(joint venture), and Page One (Southeast Asia's leading book retailer and publishing house). Late 2010, Big C won a bid to buy Carrefour branches in Thailand and the transaction was completed in 2011, which means that after the acquisition Big C Hypermarket (joint venture)



Department Store Year established Branches (Jan 2012)
Domestic;    
Central, Thailand 1947 14
Robinson, Thailand 1995 25
Zen, Thailand 1989 1
     
International;    
Central Hangzhou, China 2011 1
Central MixC Shenyang, China 2011 1
Zen Joy City Shenyang, China 2011 1
la Rinascente, Italy 2011 11
     
Supercenter    
Big C (joint venture) 1994 108
     
Supermarket    
TOPS 1996 213
     
Specialty stores    
Power Buy 1995 73
Supersports (including Fit Sports) 1996 80
B2S 2001 69
Homeworks 2001 7
Marks & Spencer (franchise) 1993 11
Watsons (joint venture) 1995 212
Page One (joint venture) 2009 8
Thai Watsadu 2010 11
     
E-tailing    
Central Online 2001  
Central Shopping Online 2010  
     
Financial Services    
Western Union 1993 67
Central Smart Insure 2010 42
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