Interview: Tatiya Sosothikul
What is the key concept behind your development?
Believing the flow of traffic is them main stream that transfers people to shopping destinations, theexisting empty land on the outskirts of Bangkok, which has been in the possession of the group for decades was selected to help refresh the area. Located on Sri Nakarin Road with eight street lanes in the front, the128,000-square meter. estate was the ideal spot to embark on the department store development journey. While continuing this vision to cultivate this property to become the largest department store in Thailand, a sense of human touch is one of the goals to achieve. For more than 15 years, Seacon Square Sri Nakarin has served as not only a multi-function shopping mall supporting the needs for customers, but also as a friendly mall for the locals. Despite the success through the decades, a renovation for the new appearance was required to maintain the pride as a property and business developer as well as the attractiveness of the building. The newly renovated facade conveys the sense of trendiness and soft tone as the final touch for the current concept. The same rule is also applied to the Bangkae branch with a different tone and style to serve different group of customers. The aim is to create a sense of down to earth style while preserving a modern style with the use of orange color on the facade. The color is eye catching and suitable with the building which is not as long as Seacon Square Sri Nakarin.
How are your experiences working with the designers?
Trusting in the professionalism of designers is the foundation for the project. The same design group working on the previous development project was selected to be responsible for the retail mission. As the previous property project was a luxurious resort in Phuket, the concept of mystical charm, privacy and elegance had to be replaced with the nature of a shopping retail development. After much debate and adjustment, it came to the conclusion that the design would combine with function to create a shopping arcade as a masterpiece of vibrant design and back-to-basic function.
How much are creativity and retail development interelated?
Different from other types of property development, the retail center requires less interpretation of creative design. A creative solution for the structure and layout, which included the ground level entrance without any steps, a car park at the front, and a newly improved facade were key factors to enhance the department store to become more appealing to the target customers. Trees are planted in the front for a natural look that can be seen from both the car park and the street and also provide shade to the area which is west facing
What are some of your new ideas and innovations that will energize and drive the retail development?
Urban expansion development is critical for retail businesses to keep on track. In recent years, many residential and shopping properties have sprung up in the neighborhood and new plans and facilities have been adopted to serve the changing lifestyle. The indoor playground, for example, used to be targeted at teenagers, but now the layout and facilities have since been converted into a basic playground for younger children. The outdoor dining area in the back of the property for customers to hang out after work or the lweekend is another example of the development. While on the otherside of the town in Bangkae, the new BTS line will certainly bring a new set of customers to the area in the next couple of years, this three-year old shopping retail development is under a mega change plan to support the community and the business in the long run. Being in trend and styles every 5-10 years is considered important, especially for Thai shoppers.