Endeavoring to become the luxury shopping hub of Southeast Asia, Thailand has unveiled a $554million project in the centre of the commercial district in Bangkok.
The country’s largest family-owned group, The Central Group, opened the mall last week, amid concerns about low domestic use and fierce competition from areas like Singapore and Hong Kong.
There are already a few upscale malls in Bangkok, however Central Embassy is being hailed as the first complete luxury mall in Thailand. Almost 30% of the brand labels, such as Ralph Lauren and Saint Laurent, are opening their first stores in the country.
The mall was due to launch in March, but was delayed to gain more time for completion. The continuing political protests also had a role to play. The Managing Director of the Central Embassy stated that protests at the start of this year prevented construction work on the site.
Thailand appears to be at a disadvantage when it comes to shopping in Asia. Its high import duties at around 40% play a huge role. In Singapore and Hong Kong, there are no levies on imported items.
14 MAY 2014, Thailand
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