Central Group

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Central Group
Type Family-owned
Holding Company
Industry Merchant, Real estate, Retailing, Hospitality, Restaurants
Founded 1947
Founders Tiang Chirathivat
Headquarters Bangkok, Thailand
Area served Thailand
Products Shopping centres, department stores, restaurants, hotels.
Total assets $7.4 billion (2013 est.)
Employees 66,000
Subsidiaries Central Pattana PLC (SETCPN)
Central Plaza Hotel PLC (SETCENTEL)
Central Retail Corporation
Central Restaurant Group
Central Marketing Group
Website www.centralgroup.com

The Central Group of Companies (Thai: กลุ่มเซ็นทรัล) or Central Holding is a family-owned conglomerate holding company in Thailand that is involved in merchandising, real estate, retailing, hospitality and restaurants. Among its subsidiaries is Central Pattana, which is the largest developer and operator of shopping centres in Thailand and the Central Retail Corporation, Thailand's biggest retail conglomerate. Its chief rival is The Mall Group, which owns Siam Paragon and The Emporium and several suburban shopping centres.


Old façade of CentralPlaza Pinklao (1995-2010).

Tiang Chirathivat started a general merchandise store in 1947 in Samphanthawong district, Bangkok's Chinatown. In 1957, Tiang's son, Samrit Chirathivat, opened the first Central Department Store in Wangburapha, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok. The company's property development arm, Central Pattana was founded in 1980, and opened its first shopping centre, Central Plaza Lat Phrao in Chatuchak district, Bangkok in 1982.

Tiang migrated to Thailand from China's Hainan Island in 1927 at the age of 22. He had three wives and 25 children.[1] Tiang died in 1968.[2]

Central Retail Corporation (CRC)[edit]

Central Retail Corporation (Thai: เซ็นทรัลรีเทล คอร์ปอเรชัน) is the largest retailer in Thailand, it operates:

  • 5 Department store chains (Central Department Store, ZEN, Robinson, La Rinascente and Illum), operated many stores in Thailand, China, Italy, Indonesia and Denmark.
  • 6 Shopping mall formats are;
    • Superluxury Shopping Mall - Central Embassy, Tritone (Rome, Italy)
    • Superregional Shopping Mall - Central Festival Phuket, Central Festival Phuket East
    • Lifestyle Shopping Mall - Robinson Lifestyle Center
    • Power Center - Central Power Center, Central Town Center
    • Community Mall - Tops Market Place, homeWorks Home Shopping Center
    • Specialty Shopping Mall - Baan Silom (hangout dining mall), Silom Galleria and Jewelry Trade Center (jewelry and antique mall), JJ Market Chiang Mai (handicraft and antique mall)
  • 3 Supermarkets chains (Tops, Central Food Hall and SuperKhum)
  • 1 Convenience store chain (FamilyMart Thailand)
  • 2 Catalog sale (OfficeMate and Trendyday)
  • 8 Specialty retail stores chains
    • PowerBuy - electronics store
    • SuperSports - sports store
    • B2S - books, entertainment and stationary[clarification needed] store
    • homeWorks - home improvement and D.I.Y. center
    • OfficeMate - office products and supplies store
    • Thai Watsadu - home hardware and improvement store for builder
    • Page One - international bookstore chain
    • baan&BEYOND - upscale department store for home decoration, furniture and improvement
  • 8 Franchise/Licenses specialty retail stores chains - only in Thailand stores
    • Watson's - healthcare and drugstore
    • Marks & Spencer - British department store chain
    • Muji - Japanese's household and consumer goods shop
    • Uniqlo - Japanese's fast fashion store
    • Build-A-Bear Workshop - D.I.Y. teddy bears and other stuffed animals shop
    • Sanrio - shop of Japan license products of Sanrio
    • Komonoya - Japanese's 100-yen shop chain by WATTS Japan
    • Matsumoto KiYoshi - Japanese's healthcare and drugstore
Central Embassy render in the Ploenchit City project.

Central Embassy[edit]

Central Embassy is a shopping mall under construction located next to Central Chidlom, will open on 9 May 2014.

Central Festival Phuket[edit]

Central Festival Phuket opened on 9 September 2004, located in Phuket Town, Thailand. It is the largest shopping mall in Phuket. It has total retail space of 120,000 square meters with Central Department Store, Supersports, PowerBuy, B2S, Office Depot, Central Food Hall, SFX and products.

Central Festival Phuket East[edit]

Central Festival Phuket East is the expand of Central Festival Phuket, the old area of homeWorks Phuket store. It renovated and changed name from homeWorks Home Shopping Center Phuket. The First opened in 2008 and after renovated, it reopened on 15 December 2012. It located opposite with Central Festival Phuket, has total retail space of 16,000 square meters with Tops Market, PowerBuy Center, homeWorks and 42 retail shops of Home & Decor, Health & Beauty and Food & Beverage.

Robinson Lifestyle Center[edit]

Robinson Lifestyle Center is a new medium size mall concept of Central Retail Corporation. The role of the new lifestyle center concept is to penetrate secondary provinces where big shopping malls are not present. A typical size of the new concept will have a retail space of around 30,000 square metres, with 20,000 net leasable area. First mall opened in November 2011, in Trang, other branches are in Suphanburi, Kanchanaburi. And 6 branches are under construction in Sakon Nakhon, Surin, Saraburi, Prachinburi, Chachoengsao and Roi Et, will open in 2013-2014.


Central stores are positioned as an upper-market chain. It has 8 stores in Bangkok, 6 branches in upcountry with Rangsit in Pathum Thani Province, Chaengwattana (Pak Kret, Nonthaburi), Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Pattaya and Phuket, and 3 branches in China with Hangzhou, Shenyang and Chengdu; has 5 more planned for new branches will be open between 2013-2015, in Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Samui, Grand Indonesia (Jakarta, Indonesia), Nakhon Ratchasima.


The Robinson department store chain was established in 1979 and was merged with Central in 1995. The company has branches in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket, Patong Beach, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Sri Racha, Chanthaburi, Udonthani, Ubon Ratchathani, Chonburi, Khon Kaen, Trang, Chiang Rai, Phitsanulok, Rama IX in Bangkok, Suphanburi, Surat Thani, Lampang, Kanchanaburi, Sakhon Nakhon, Saraburi and Surin.

ZEN (department store)[edit]

The upmarket Zen department store chain was established in 1990 with its first branch as one of the anchors of the World Trade Center in Pathum Wan district, Bangkok. Now named CentralWorld, the shopping center underwent a major renovation in 2006, although it was partly destroyed in a fire during the Thai military's 2010 bloody crackdown on protestors. Protestors claimed the fire was lit by military elements, while the military claimed it was lit by protestors. The CentralWorld branch is due to reopen in August 2011. A second branch was opened in Shenyang, China.

La Rinascente[edit]

Main article: La Rinascente

On May 27, 2011 Central Retail bought a 100% stake of the 150-year-old store firm for 260 million euros. "Our ultimate goal is to take it global and to be recognised all across Asia, be it in Thailand, China, Japan or Hong Kong," Chief Executive Officer Tos Chirathivat told reporters. Central Retail also planned new Rinascente stores in Italy and expected the takeover to break even within eight years. Tos said there would be no change of management team at Rinascente, which is led by Chief Executive Vittorio Radice. Rinascente posted sales of 350 million euros in 2010. Central Retail was still looking for more foreign assets after the acquisition, which is expected to add 15 percent to its sales starting next month, Tos said, adding the Thai company expected sales of 100 billion baht ($3.3 billion) in 2011 and 230 billion baht in 2012.[3]


At Denmark, Central Retail took over a 120-year-old retailing business on March 12, 2013, Illum.

Other Central Retail companies[edit]

  • B2S – A chain that sells stationery, books, magazines, school and office supplies, music CDs and movie DVDs.
  • Big C – A chain of hypermarkets, majority owned by the Casino Group of France.
  • FamilyMart - Central Retail took over FamilyMart in Thailand, since October 2012, from parent company.
  • Homeworks – A building supplies and home-improvement retailer.
  • Thai Watsadu - home hardware and improvement store for builder.
  • baan&BEYOND - upscale department store for home decoration, furniture and improvement.
  • OfficeMate - The largest office supply catalog sale and retail store in Thailand. Central Retail took over the OfficeMate company since December 2012. After took over, Central Retail merged and changed name of Office Depot to OfficeMate in January 2013. The Office Depot chain store was under the contract between Office Depot (U.S.) and Central Retail, for used the name of Office Depot. Central Retail operated name of Office Depot in 1996-2012.
  • Page One - International bookstore chain and publisher, base in Singapore. Central Retail joint venture shareholder (39.1%) since March 2006.
  • PowerBuy – An electronics retailer with more than 70 stores.
  • Supersports – A sporting-goods store.
  • Tops Supermarket – US-based Tops grocery chain was operated in Thailand, took over by Central Retail, now named Tops Super, Tops Market, Tops Daily and Central Food Hall. It has nearly 120 stores nationwide. Tops Daily stores will be rebraned FamilyMart over the next few years.[4]
  • SuperKhum - is a newest supermarket brand of CRC. It's different other brands about price, store location and customers target. SuperKhum have two formats store sub-brand, SuperKhum (for Retail) and SuperKhum Khaisong (for Wholesale).
  • Trendyday - department store products on catalog sale, operated by OfficeMate.

Other Franchise/Licenses Stores in Thailand, Operated by Central Retail[edit]

Central Pattana (CPN)[edit]

Main article: Central Pattana

Central Pattana (SETCPN) (Thai: เซ็นทรัลพัฒนา) is the retail property development and management arm of the Central Group, Central Pattana was founded on June 17, 1980 with a registered capital of 300 million baht. The company became registered as a public limited company in 1994 and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 1995.

Central Pattana is currently managing 23 shopping centres, 6 office buildings, one hotel and two residential projects. It planned to expand the shopping malls to oversea. The first will be open in Malaysia, around 2016, and other plans has expand to Vietnam, China, India and Indonesia.

Central Pattana mall concepts[edit]

CPN operates 4 kind of shopping mall concepts:[5]

1. CentralWorld with over 200,000 sq/m of net leasable area. There is currently one branch of CentralWorld.

2. CentralPlaza. A typical mall of this size has around 100,000 sq/m of net leasable area. There are currently 18 malls of this concept with 1 more under construction and 2 more planned. The first mall of this concept opened in 1982 and is CentralPlaza Ladprao. It has 2 branches, don't use name of CentralPlaza; Bangna branch uses CentralCity, Pattaya Sai 2 branch uses CentralCenter (before CentralFestival Pattaya Beach opened, Pattaya Sai 2 branch used CentralFestival Center).

3. CentralFestival. Approximately 50,000 sg/m net leasable area. Only 1 branch has recently opened called CentralFestival Pattaya Beach and other branches are under construction in Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Samui, will open in 2013.

4. CentralWestGate mixed-use project; offer 500,000 square metres of retail space, 5,000-6,000 condominiums and a commercial building such as an office tower. It located on Bang Yai intersection, near Bang Yai Market MRT Station; will be open in late 2014 and completed in 2015.

Centara Hotels and Resorts (CHR)[edit]

Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited (SETCENTEL) is a leading hotel chain in Thailand. It was established in 1980 and listed on the SET in 1990, formerly name was Central Hotels and Resorts and changed name to Centara Hotels and Resorts (CHR) (Thai: เครือโรงแรมเซนทารา) in 2007. Today it has 6 hotel subbrands, 1 spa brand and 1 convention center brand, such as;

Hotel subbrands[edit]

  • Centara Grand - The 5-star hotels and resorts brand, today is operating in 11 properties.
  • Centara - The 4-star hotels and resorts brand, today is operating in 20 properties.
  • Centara Residence & Suites - The serviced apartments brand, today is operating in 1 properties.
  • Centara Boutique Collection - The boutique and HIP hotels and resorts brand, today is operating in 4 properties.
  • Centra - The 3-star hotels and resorts brand, today is operating in 5 properties.
  • Cosi - The budget hotels brand, the first location will be opened in 2014, The master plan will be operated in 30 properties within 5 years.

Spa brand[edit]

  • SPA Cenvaree - The luxury spa brand, today is operating in 29 locations.

Convention center brand[edit]

  • Bangkok Convention Centre (BCC) - today is operating in 5 locations.

Central Restaurant Group (CRG)[edit]

Central Restaurant Group (CRG) (Thai: เซ็นทรัล เรสตอรองส์ กรุ๊ป) started business in 1978, the first time was a subdivision of Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited. The first brand of group is Mister Donut, under master franchisee licence. The group was the pioneer of quick service restaurants of international brand (QSRs) in Thailand. Today, the group has operated in 11 brands of restaurant, such as;

Quick service restaurants (QSRs)[edit]


Defunct (or expiration of a contract):

Japanese cuisine[edit]




Defunct (or expiration of a contract):

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://www.forbes.com/global/2007/0723/056.html
  3. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/30/rinascente-central-idUSL3E7GU0BJ20110530 La Rinascente to go global, Thai Central Retail says
  4. ^ http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/314438/tops-daily-to-get-rebranding
  5. ^ http://www.cpn.co.th/investorrelations/brands.html CPN mall concepts

External links[edit]