Thailand’s economy continued to see solid gains in 2018, with improved consumer confidence, an increase in disposable income and low unemployment. This continued to support value growth in retailing although many consumers still remain cautious when it comes to non-essential spending.
Internet retailing continued to see dynamic growth in 2018 as access to the internet increased and smartphone ownership rose. According to Thailand’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), in 2017, Thai people were using the internet for more than 10 hours a day on average and were spending around half this time shopping online.
The competitive landscape saw lots of highlights towards the end of the review period, with many of these being seen in internet retailing. For example, Shopee Mall launched in 2017 and had already risen to second place in the rankings by the end of 2018, behind Lazada.
As disposable income rises and consumers become more demanding retailers will need to find new ways to ensure they remain relevant. For example, Central Group invested THB350 million in revamping and rebranding its department stores in order to keep shoppers in its stores for longer.
Thanks to its strong economy and large investments being made by local and regional players Thailand’s retailing industry is expected to see stronger current value growth over the forecast period compared the review period. Internet retailing is projected to have a strong influence over the industry which could result in slightly slower growth in terms of number of outlets, although many retailers are looking to expand into secondary areas in order to benefit from demand in less saturated areas.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.