Retail Sector Forecasted to Deliver a Twofold Growth in Thailand by 2020: Ken Research


Ken Research announced latest report on, “The Future of Retailing in Thailand to 2020; Comprehensive data overview of the market, with retail sales value and forecasts to 2020” which discusses detailed analysis of retail sector and the leading players. It also provides information about the Thailand retail sector value chain. The report sheds light on how the existing players can use this information to gain the competitive edge in the market. Additionally, major trends and drivers have also been covered, describing the market penetration and future potential of the industry. The report enables the reader to interpret future outlook on how the market will shape up by the end of this decade.

Robust growth was witnessed due to expansion in manufacturing activities such as food processing, electronics and rubber products. The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community created a regional integration endeavor that facilitated the free flow of goods, capital and labor across ASEAN in 2015. The retail sector may also face constraints from low agricultural prices in the global market and the impact from drought of 2016. According to the statistics, the government focuses more on infrastructure and exports than on economic and consumption stimulus.

Overview of Retail Sector in Thailand

There has been a rising strong demand and expansion seen among the young urban consumers and international convenience store chains including 7-Eleven, UK-based Tesco Lotus and Japan’s Family Mart in Thailand. Also, the total number of convenience stores in Thailand has exceeded 10,000 outlets. During 2008-2013, retail sales for convenience stores expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% faster than the growth of other grocery retailers such as supermarkets and hypermarkets. Bill payment and free Wi-Fi are the extra value added services offered by 7-Eleven and Family Mart for the busy lifestyle of urban consumers. During 2009-2014, online retail sales expanded at a CAGR of 21% increasing much faster than the growth of store-based retailing.


Key Driving Factors of Thailand Retail Industry

After the launch of 3G in 2013, online shopping and marketing is playing a remarkable role in Thailand’s retail market. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have emerged as an indispensable advertising tool for retailers. It had about 30 million Facebook users in 2014 with most of them logging in via mobile devices. Self owned websites are being set up by retailers for online promotion and shopping. There has been a wider use of credit and debit cards facilitating online payments due to which, the number of credit and debit cards in circulation increased by about 22 million to 67 million in 2014 with total transactions surging from less than 450 million to about 600 million. The major contributors of growth in retail industry of Thailand are surging government expenditure and investment, low crude oil price and inflation increasing purchasing power and growth in the tourism sector.

Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and its capital Bangkok is the country’s most populous city. Bangkok is a commercial hub in Asia with a thriving retail market for Thai residents and overseas visitors. Thailand has also attracted many multinational retailers alongside a high penetration of local brands. Its retail market has developed quickly to match with the changing lifestyles of consumers which are increasingly influenced by the internet.

There has been a higher penetration of smart phones and tablets which has boosted the emergence of mobile internet retailing, as consumers can check out product reviews and new arrivals straight away. According to the Thailand Digital Advertising Association, as of June 2014, about one-third of the 94 million mobile phone subscribers used smartphones. For example, Thai retailers like the Central Group and The Mall Group have launched mobile apps that include their latest products and promotion activities. While e-commerce is fast gaining ground along with the surge in the use of mobile internet, mobile retailing is still an accustomed concept in Thailand, with not much market share. Rural-urban migration is a well-established trend as people from the village dream of better jobs and living conditions in the cities. In recent years, Thai cities have witnessed dwindling households composed mostly of working adults and middle-class consumers, with family sizes continuing to shrink.

Future of Retail Sector in Thailand

Specialist retailers were the gigantic channel group of total retail sales in 2015 and will continue to command the market in 2020. It has been forecasted that there will be 4.3% of retail sales volume growth in Thailand in 2018. It is expected that the retail sector growth will double to around 6% by 2020 due to the high investment in infrastructure by the government and private sector. Urban consumers in large cities like Bangkok, place a strong emphasis on quality, thereby amplifying the demand for branded groceries and ready-to-eat food products.


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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications