Chiang Mai ready for new shopping experience

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ECC International Real Estate, a successful Dutch resort mall developer and management company, has completed a study examining factors behind Chiang Mai’s success as a fast-developing city and its increasingly sophisticated buyer behaviour.

Chiang Mai was selected by ECC as the location for Thailand’s first resort-style shopping mall, Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai, which will soon be ready to serve the spending power demands of a broad demographic of people in Chiang Mai.  ECC’s study is a follow-up activity based on an initial study conducted before construction commenced.

An artist’s impression shows the Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai. An artist’s impression shows the Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is currently experiencing rising consumer demand, greater levels of disposable income, accelerating home building and a burgeoning labour force.  This rate of growth means that Chiang Mai is currently underserved significantly by the retail development sector.  The Retail Sales Index (RSI) in Chiang Mai has expanded by 250% between 2002 and 2010.  With a rapidly expanding economy comes a need for a retail sector which is reactive to these swells in spending power.  Surprisingly, total square metres offered by the shopping mall segment have not increased significantly in the last decade.

Tjeert Kwant, President & CEO and shareholder of ECC Real Estate, said, “As a marketing-driven landlord, we listen to consumers and talk to the retailers using our knowledge of the local market.  This is exactly what we have done in Chiang Mai in the years before we decided upon the location, the concept and the tenant mix for Promenada.  Since 2008, we have been in contact with consumers and retailers on an ongoing basis and in addition, we engaged TNS and Nexus as specialists for frequent market and consumer research and updates.”

Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai has been developed on the understanding that Chiang Mai is largely untapped in terms of retail possibility, and ECC is the first developer to deliver a large-scale mall offering a different and innovative experience to shoppers.   Right now, there are spending power demands of a very large population in Chiang Mai which are not being met, partly because of the market size and partly because people are demanding more from their shopping experience.

Khalid Khan, Client Service Director of TNS Research International, said, “The survey compiled by TNS Research International amongst a representative number of 580 residents showed that 40% of Chiang Mai shoppers would switch to Promenada as their first choice shopping and leisure destination, which is a considerable achievement for such an innovative concept.”

These days, a visit to the mall is a leisure pastime where shoppers expect good quality dining, relaxation areas, recreational activities, fresh air, art, concerts and so on besides the shopping facilities.  Promenada taps into that growth area and will serve these escalating needs with a resort-style mall, together with 18 Rai of open air park including 150 meter length of terraces, an outdoor theatre, waterfalls, lush greenery and a wide range of leisure activities.  Promenada is taking about 18 Rai of land to build the shopping mall and at the same time, about the same size of land will be used to create a park for people in Chiang Mai.

Promenada Resort Mall Chiang Mai is on track to open late 2012, and will become Thailand’s first resort-style shopping mall.