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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs      04  January 2011

Thai retailers are upbeat

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Thai retailers to thrive next year

Thailand's retail business will grow at a double-digit rate next year with department stores gaining the most benefit, says the Development of Thai Capital Retailers Association (DTRA). The recovery of the country's economy, increases in minimum wages and salaries for civil servants and politicians, and the general election would get more money circulating in 2011. He said people will resume spending on luxury products, so department stores should see double-digit sales growth. Product categories that are "hot" include cosmetics, skincare, fashions and technology products.

A recent survey by the market research firm Synovate also found that 43.1 percent of Bangkok's affluent consumers reported substantial increases in luxury product purchases. The company said the findings defied expectations given the fluctuating fortunes of the greater Thai economy and consumer confidence.

"It seems that Bangkok's big spenders will not stop acquiring in good times or bad. They are the mainstay for many brands whatever the market conditions," said Synovate managing director Steven Britton.

As well, people in the provinces have been earning more income from the increasing prices of agricultural products. The northeast is benefiting from increasing trade and commercial links with southern China, creating more income opportunities.

CP All plans to open 450 to 500 new 7-Eleven outlets next year, bringing its total to 6,200 or 6,250. That will create about 5,000 new jobs.

At the same time, the company will officially open its first "green" store next year. Currently, it has changed electrical equipment in all 7-Eleven stores to reduce the energy consumption by 30 percent. The company will now go a step further by finding eco-friendly construction materials to build its stores.

It also plans to spend 500 million baht to build new distribution centres in Chiang Mai next year to serve its 500 stores in the north.


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ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

• Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore
• Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline
• Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan

ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs  
04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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