King Power

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King Power International Group
Industry Duty-free shop
Founded 1989
Founder Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Headquarters 8 King Power Complex, Rangnam Road, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Thailand
Area served
Thailand
Key people
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Chairman
Revenue IncreaseUS$1.80 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
7,000
Subsidiaries Leicester City F.C.
Website www.kingpower.com
www.kingpoweronline.com

The King Power International Group is Thailand's leading travel retail group, based in Bangkok. The current chairman and CEO is Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

King Power's "...cash cow is the proprietary concession of Thailand's duty-free business."[2] The company is the largest duty-free retailer in the country. Its duty free shopping mall in Bangkok's central business district covers over 12,000 m2[3] and it has branches at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Thailand's other major airports. In 2015, King Power launched an online site selling duty-free and duty-paid items.[4]

History[edit]

King Power began in 1989, with a license granted for Thailand's first downtown duty free shop at Mahatun Plaza.[5] In 1995, King Power won the sole concession to operate duty-free shops at Don Mueang Airport, then Bangkok's main airport. In 1997, the government of Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh granted the company the sole right to manage duty-free business at the World Trade Centre in downtown Bangkok for 10 years. The business had previously been managed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Some questioned whether it was contrary to Prime Minister's Office regulations regarding partnership with private business.[6]

In 2004, the government of Thaksin Shinawatra granted King Power the right to operate duty-free shops at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok's new main airport, for 10 years. Shortly thereafter, the company won the concession to operate duty-free shops at four major provincial airports until 2015. There was no bidding for the concessions.[6]

King Power received the royal warrant from the King of Thailand in December 2009.[7] The garuda statue in front of its headquarters symbolizes that privilege.[8]

In August 2010, following agreement on a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with King Power, Milan Mandarić sold the English football club Leicester City F.C. to a Thai-led consortium called Asian Football Investments (AFI), owned by King Power Group's Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.[9]

In June 2016 King Power purchased a US$225 million stake in Thai AirAsia, the country's largest budget airline. The purchase of 39 percent of holding company Asia Aviation makes King Power the second largest shareholder in Thai AirAsia.[10]

Scandals[edit]

In 2007 Airports of Thailand PLC (AOT) ordered King Power out of Suvarnabhumi Airport as it found that King Power had colluded with politicians, AOT board members, and AOT officials to open at the airport without permission from the government. It was found that the contracts were void because they were designed to avoid the Public-Private Joint Venture Act that requires a lengthy selection process for any investment worth one billion baht or more by the private sector in a state project. King Power filed lawsuits against AOT in the civil courts for nullifying their contracts.[11] To date, King Power remain at the airport and have recently applied for additional retail space.[12]

In 2009, King Power and its staff were accused of being involved in an elaborate scam involving extortion of tourists at its Suvarnabhumi Airport outlets. A foreign couple were arrested for shoplifting an expensive wallet then instead of being handed over to the police they were taken to a hotel where they were threatened with lengthy jail terms unless they paid cash to secure their freedom. The couple allege they were innocent, that King Power were complicit in the scam, and that a foreign mediator, a Sri Lankan named Tony, handled the negotiations. King Power issued CCTV footage of the couple allegedly shoplifting and a denial they or their staff were involved. After this story broke several other similar cases came to light.[13][14]

Stores[edit]

King Power has outlets at nine Thai airports and stores in major tourist venues.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.trbusiness.com/regional-news/asia-pacific/king-power-set-for-18bn-in-2014/57007
  2. ^ Pananond, Pavida; Pongsudhirak, Thitinan (2016-05-06). "A Thai monopoly and Leicester's triumph". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "King Power Downtown Complex". King Power. 2012. 
  4. ^ "Duty Free Online Shopping". King Power. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "A King Power Timeline" (PDF). Moodie Report. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Vichai linked to new party". The Nation. 2016-05-21. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  7. ^ Watcharapong Thongrung (December 3, 2009). "King Power banks on stable politics". The Nation. Bangkok. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ Martin Moodie (December 3, 2009). "King Power awarded royal warrant in Thailand". The Moodie Report. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Thai consortium eyes deal to buy Leicester for £39m". BBC Sport. August 5, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ "King Power buys 39% stake in Thai Air Asia". Straits Times. Agence France Presse, Reuters. 2016-06-15. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Suvarnabhumi Airport; King Power gears up to fight for contracts". The Nation. 2007-04-09. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "King Power seeks additional commercial space at airport". Bangkok Post. 2011-05-26. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  13. ^ Head, Jonathan (2009-07-20). "Tourists warned of Thailand airport scam". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  14. ^ Mahitthirook, Amornrat; Wongruang, Piyaporn (2009-08-02). "Scandal at Suvarnabhumi". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 25 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "Stores & Locations". King Power. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 

External links[edit]