Business Movement

Thaiwatsadu under Central Retail achieves 2023 revenue milestone of THB40bn, aiming for 'No.1 Omnichannel DIY Home Retailer' in construction materials and home décor retail industry – sets 5-year sustainable growth strategy targeting THB70bn revenue

Bangkok, 15 May 2024 — CRC Thaiwatsadu under Central Retail, a retail business of construction materials and home decoration products under the brand Thaiwatsadu and BnB home announced the success of the year 2023 with sales surpassing the target of over 40 billion baht, with a total investment of 7 billion baht. Alongside, they announced a 5-year strategy plan aiming for ‘CRC Thaiwatsadu: No.1 Omnichannel DIY Home Retailer’, accelerating towards becoming the leading retail business in construction materials and home decoration products across all channels. It is also pushing forward to expand the Hybrid Format (White Format) ‘Thaiwatsadu × BnB home,’ aiming for sustainable growth in every dimension of the economy, society, and environment.

Mr.Suthisarn Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of CRC Thaiwatsadu under Central Retail, stated that the year 2023 marked a year of success for CRC Thaiwatsadu, with total sales reaching a record high of 40 billion baht, achieved through 14 years of business operation. With an investment of over 7 billion baht, the company has achieved an annual growth rate of 11%. In addition to revenue success, the company has also accelerated its expansion plans for Thaiwatsadu and BnB home branches, opening 14 branches within a single year. This growth phenomenon has significantly contributed to the economic landscape, resulting in a total of 90 branch locations covering all regions of the country across 47 provinces.

In the picture of online sales growth from 2020 to 2023, which has been driven by the need to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis and digital disruption, consumer behavior has changed rapidly. This has accelerated the development of e-commerce systems to comprehensively sell products and provide services through online channels. Developments aim to create a seamless shopping experience, with sales soaring to 1.4 billion baht within 4 years, with an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 145%. There are over 5,000 new online shoppers per month, with repeat purchases accounting for up to 60% of existing customers, and the average basket size increasing by 12% YoY. Overall, the number of Omnichannel Customers, the customers who purchase both in-store and online, has increased by 46% YoY. These figures confirm that continuous and sustainable growth is achievable across all sales channels.

Mr.Suthisarn added that from its past successes, CRC Thaiwatsadu has conducted business and adhered to their core values focused on price and product quality, under the concept of low-cost business model with 3 main principles:

  1. Adequate Staff — Employing an appropriate number of staff for the size of each branch location and continuously developing personnel.
  2. No Fancy Decor — Simple branch decoration, including displaying products in a functional way.
  3. Big Volume Orders — Purchasing and procuring high volume products to achieve low costs, while still maintaining good quality, allowing customers to buy products at valuable and cheaper prices than elsewhere.

Additionally, there have been developments in in-house operations utilizing the expertise of personnel to help reduce costs within the organization, whether in managing its own transportation fleet, store design, or IT management to develop software for internal use. This reduces reliance on external agencies, benefiting customers who can choose to purchase products at reasonable prices.

In terms of elevating the shopping experience to meet customers’ needs through Customer Oriented Category Development, by increasing product lines and specialized services to fully meet every lifestyle related to contractor work and home needs, keeping up with trends such as Solar World, a comprehensive range of solar cell system products with Tier 1 standard quality, along with installation packages; New Furniture Concept: CALINA Brand, a new furniture zone that enhances variety for every room, focusing on the DIY Wardrobe concept with 3D design services tailored to existing space and allocated budget; Bike Shop, a bicycle zone for every family member who loves exercise; Consumer Electronics, a department with leading brand electrical appliances, a full line-up of sizes and functions across over 1,000 sq m of display space; and the Construction Showroom, with Thaiwatsadu as the first in the industry, providing a new experience for easily selecting large-scale construction products by bringing together over 5,000 actual product samples, material displays, in-depth product information and a wide range of solutions across over 450 sq m.

Meanwhile, the development of Omnichannel channels is still at the heart, allowing for a diverse selection of purchasing and payment options, reaffirming the reality of O2O (Online-to-Offline) integration, combining the strengths of offline and the convenience of online. Although most customers still prefer to travel to physical stores to experience and test products, we continue to develop online channels through various platforms such as websites, social commerce (Line -Chat & Shop, Facebook, Call & Shop, Application, and Call Centre 1308), presented in the concept of ‘Phygital’, which is the seamless shopping experience, regardless of which channel is used. Customers will receive the same product and service offerings, both in-store and online, including:

  • One Price/One Promotion — No need to waste time checking for the best prices and promotions because the selling price is the same both in-store and on the website.
  • One Coupon — Discount coupons received from purchases can be used across all channels, easy to carry as they are in the online Coupon Wallet in the Thaiwatsadu app.
  • One Payment System — Diverse and secure payment options (Credit card, QR PromptPay, 0% Installment, and redemption of The1 loyalty points)
  • The1 Identity — The1 loyalty points can be linked to identity information, only requiring the membership number to access both points balance and purchase history.

For Thaiwatsadu's growth direction in 2024, the focus remains on its ambitious expansion by opening new branches across all regions of Thailand under the Thaiwatsadu and BnB home brands. The aim is to expand all models, including the Red Format (Standard Format), Hybrid Format (White Format), and smaller Blue Format, targeting subcontractors, totaling 103 branch locations covering over 1,400,000 sq m of retail space.

Moreover, the 5-year plan (2024-2028) aims to reinforce their position as the No.1 leader in the comprehensive retail business for construction materials and home furnishing products — the ‘No.1 Omnichannel DIY Home Retailer’ — targeting a 70 billion baht market share and 12% CAGR business growth rate, outpacing overall market growth. There are three key strategies that will help drive Thaiwatsadu forward to sustainable success:

1. The Hybrid Format (White Format) — In 2021, a significant milestone in the retail industry was reached when the company introduced the New Store Model in the form of the Hybrid Format (White Format). This model combined the strengths of the Thaiwatsadu and BnB home brands to become a one-stop destination for construction materials, tools, electrical appliances, home products, decorative items, and home repair solutions, catering to all customer groups including contractors, craftsmen, and homeowners. With over 20,000 sqm. of space, offering a collection of up to 50,000 items, it proved to be a key driver in increasing sales by up to 30%. By the end of 2024, there will be a total of 16 branches, including Srisaman, Bang Saen, Rangsit Klong 4, Phuket Chalong, Mueang Ake, Samut Prakan, Chiang Mai Sansai, Bang Yai, Nakhon In, Udon Thani Kud Sa, Rama 3, Bang Na, Bang Bua Thong, Sukhapiban 3 Phuket, and Khon Kaen.

2. Outperforming Online Shopping — Elevating technology development to ensure a seamless online shopping experience, especially developing unique features found only at Thaiwatsadu to exceed customer needs, such as:

  • Daily Steel Price Ordering Online: The first in the market to update daily steel prices online. Customers can order immediately via website or app, with a tool to calculate total steel weight, helping contractors efficiently manage inventory and steel costs.
  • Feature Mixed Paint & Calculator: The first in Thailand's paint industry, allowing customers and contractors to personally select and purchase over 20,000 shades of premixed exterior paint via the website & application, including calculating needed paint quantity for the desired area.
  • Tailor Made Curtains Calculator: A utility that simplifies calculating custom curtain dimensions. Customers can calculate desired width and length, choose from various styles and colors, with professional installation service by vFIX experts.

With this digital technology reinforcement, it is expected to help increase online sales by 5 billion baht by 2028, driven by:

  • Mobile-First DIY Features - Develop new features on mobile first and design functions specifically for contractors.
  • Quick Fulfilment - Elevating service levels with rapid product delivery, including options for online purchases available at all branches, along with convenient returns or exchanges (Click & Collect) and express delivery within 2 hours, same-day and next-day product delivery.
  • Complete Product Range - Offering a comprehensive range of over 50,000 home-related products. In addition to items available in-store, there's also an extended range of special products to choose from, ensuring customers have everything they need to complete their projects conveniently with just one order.

3. Supply Chain Movement — Being the first leader in the construction materials retail industry to introduce the use of Electric Vehicle (EV) large trucks for product transportation. In line with the business’s growth, a Green Logistics system, environmentally friendly, is being developed in 2024. The total number of EV large trucks will be increased by 80 units, representing 32% of all types of transportation vehicles. Over 700,000 pallets of goods can be transported, reducing carbon emissions by up to 7,000 tons. Although the initial cost of EV large trucks may be higher than diesel trucks, in the long run, it can reduce fuel expenses and engine maintenance by up to 16% per year.

Beyond this, they remain committed to driving a hardline green business, in line with Central Retail’s intent to be a Green & Sustainable Retailer, integrating environmental policies throughout their upstream and downstream operations.

Through CRC’s ‘ReNEW’ strategic framework with 4 core pillars, they are:

1. Re = Reduce Greenhouse Gases — In 2023, Solar Rooftops were installed at 75 branches, and in 2024 installations at 15 new and existing branches. This will enable over 101 million kilowatt-hours of cumulative electricity generation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to planting 2.5 million trees.

2. N = Navigate Society Well-being — Creating a livable society. Conducting business in parallel with community and social development through 11 beneficial social projects across 9 provinces, benefiting over 700,000 local people. Examples include employing over 100 disabled people at the customer service Contact Centre, and the ‘Loving Hometowns’ project allowing employees to give back to their own communities.

3. E = Eco-Friendly Product and Packaging — Promoting over 4,000 Eco Products and eco-friendly packaging certified by various agencies in collaboration with trade partners.

4. W = Waste Management — Through the ‘Save World’ project with the 3R concept (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), with a success in reusing waste and reducing 1,117 tons of waste.

“CRC Thaiwatsadu continues moving forward with strong strategies, ready to take on new challenges that come with changing times. We are focused on developing our omnichannel platform. We are confident that in the next 5 years, Thaiwatsadu will rise to become the ultimate leader in the retail business for construction materials and home furnishing products, able to create sustainability across economic, social, and environmental dimensions,” concluded Mr.Suthisarn.