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Friday, December 19, 2014.  Source - Press Release, Local


The Thai Retailers Association organized its 1st press conference at Arnoma Hotel Bangkok to announce the launch of a strategic initiative with IMPACT Exhibition Management & Globe International Events Consultancy to launch the inaugural RetailEX ASEAN 2015 & FranchisEX ASEAN 2015- RFA 2015 (2 Co-located Events) scheduled to take place from 17 – 19 September 2015 at IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. At the same time, this is also the first foray by the Thai Retailers Association into the organization of trade shows and the association aims to position these 2 trade shows as the leading platforms for trade in the ASEAN Retailing, Franchise & Licensing industry especially with AEC 2015 opening a great window of economic opportunities for the entire region. More than 80 key industry players attended the launch press conference which is held together with the ‘RETHINK RETAIL & FRANCHISE’ forum.

The launch press conference was followed by the ‘RETHINK RETAIL & FRANCHISE’ forum moderated by Mr.Sirapat Kettarn, Senior Project Manager, IMPACT Exhibition Organiser Department, The organizers of RFA 2015 were honored to have esteemed speakers from the industry: Dr.Chatrchai Tuongratanaphan – Director of Thai Retailer Association, Mr.Sethaphong Phadungpisuth – Managing Director of Gnosis Co., Ltd. and Franchise Standard Assessor of Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce, and Miss Kavita Chuenjai – E-Commerce Expert and E-Commerce Consultant Manager of Rakuten TARAD.

Dr.Chatrchai Tuongratanaphan said, ”The GDP growth in 2013 is approximately 12 trillion THB of which the wholesale component is only 1.4 trillion THB, but the retail component is approximately 2.7 trillion THB. If we compare our retail GDP rate with the entire consumption rate of Thailand, we could said that our retail GDP rate is almost half of the consumption rate of Thailand which is 5-6 trillion THB. In the last 10 years, our retail growth rate is approximately 7-8% per year.

If we compare our retailers with those in the neighboring countries in the region, we can observe that our retailers are more varied in nature. Therefore, we have to embark on the next trend of venturing regionally and internationally. This does not mean that Thai retail market is saturated but it is an indication that we must move on to the next step of development. Another aspect of retail development is towards luxury lifestyle and we can see this in new luxury department stores that have been opening in the country. The present market can also tap on the expansion of retail channels vertically and horizontally in areas such as IT, E-commerce and etc.

AEC brings great opportunities for Thailand because Thailand has the strategic location in the region similar to the mainland of ASEAN so the market has the benefit of ease of transport from the neighboring countries. For other ASEAN nations, their markets may need to depend on online marketing. Therefore, we can all work in coordination to prepare our markets for anticipating the future population increase in Thailand and the region. “

With regards to the franchise industry, Mr. Sethaphong Phadungpisuth said, “The franchise system has existed in Thailand for more than 30 years and is considered a new market. The franchise market value on last year is approximately 187 billion baht with more than 477 companies but this has contributed to 63% of the market consumption in Thailand. This represents great potential in the industry which still has much more to offer in market development.

In 2012-2013, Thailand’s franchise growth rate is about 20-30%. That means the franchise market here has expanded by more than 40,000 branches. However, our industry is still in its early stages because we do not have specific franchise laws to regulate the industry. This means that we are still weak to compete with foreign competitors. In Singapore, the franchise regulation is associated with the marketing regulations. For the Malaysian franchise, they have the franchise laws to protect and regulate them. In the international market, Singaporean, American & Japanese franchises are all well known. This is why we should exhibit in RFA 2015 which presents very good opportunities for franchises in the region to further develop their businesses in ASEAN and internationally.

AEC 2015 represents a period of change for the franchise industry in Thailand & ASEAN. Most international brands who would like to enter ASEAN will make their forays into Thailand first before expanding in the region. We must improve in term of defensive and offensive marketing. We must also better understand our customers because the cultures in the different ASEAN countries vary. Better corporate management and strategic planning is required to better leverage on AEC 2015 in order to thrive and succeed.”

Miss Kavitra Chuenjai added, “E-commerce is the modern retail channel and increased rapidly annually and presents great challenges for the retail industry. For now, E-commerce has a market share of 15% of the retail market and this number is growing every year. In 2014 the online retail channel grows by more than 120%. Nowadays, the fastest way to market goods to consumers is E-commerce because the social network in present is so fast and attractive to most people. Some key challenges for E-commerce will be in the areas of security, money transaction and the quality of the goods. For these challenges, technology and system will be great ways for risk management. Future trends in E-commerce will be the mobile application market channel online, so we should be planning for this ahead of AEC 2015.”

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