Central Group, a retail leader in Thailand, Vietnam and Europe has announced a major joint venture with JD.com, the retail and e-commerce giant from China which is the third biggest of its kind in the world.
This joint venture will create a different online shopping experience for Thai customers and build a Digital Ecosystem on a new platform at JD.co.th
Central Group Executive Chairman and CEO Tos Chirathivat commented, “In the occasion of Central Group 70th anniversary, I’m delighted for our big step from offline emerging to online world which will reinforce our strategy of Digital Centrality.
We make an investment 17.5-billion-baht joint venture with JD.com, a global leader in technology, e-commerce, logistics, fintech, Big Data and AI to create a new e-commerce platform at JD.co.th, under the trademark of JD Central, scheduled to open in 2018.
Our objective is to establish the First Complete Digital Ecosystem alongside developing Central Group businesses to be the Truly Largest Omnichannel in Thailand.
This will fully cater to customers’ needs in the age of Thailand 4.0, while providing Central Group a healthy growth path, with online sales accounting for over 15 percent of the Group’s business within 5 years.
This cooperation is not only creating a seamless shopping experience for customers, but is also supporting the government’s Thailand 4.0 initiative.
This project stresses developing personnel to keep up with the digital world, increasing employment and promoting the exports of SMEs, as well as developing the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) by establishing a Head Office to be a Digital Hub for Southeast Asia.”
Richard Liu, JD.com’s Chairman and CEO ,said “Thailand’s large population, developed infrastructure and the high penetration of internet information services give it tremendous potential for both e-commerce and fintech services.”
“Working with Central Group, Thailand’s strongest retail conglomerate, we will use a localized strategy to build out our efforts in the market. JD Central will work to offer the best consumer experience, empower SMEs, promote the export of Thai products, and develop the best e-commerce experience in the region.”
President of Central Group Yol Phokasub noted that, The phenomenal joint venture of these two Asian giants will boost Central Group’s efforts to be the complete digital leader in the age of Thailand 4.0. It will accelerate the Group’s strategy of Digital Centrality into action, through a complete Digital Ecosystem which is strong in four important ways.
- E-commerce: The vast assortment of products available through Central Group’s flagship stores and other stores. It’s full of quality product ranges from both inside and outside Thailand, and SME suppliers. The prices are reasonable and special offers are available on a website that is user-friendly for all age groups.
- E-logistics: A revolution in transportation using the latest technologies to expedite deliveries with greater speed and accuracy, such as drones and auto-cars, using modern supply chain and warehousing technology.
- E-finance: Fintech has been developed for the financial convenience of customers and suppliers with the creation of the E-wallet and other online financial services which are easy to use and will pave the way for a future cashless society.
- Technology and data: Many technologies have been harnessed to develop every stage of the business, from the analysis of large databases and cloud computing to AI and chatbots. These will update e-commerce websites and fintech services to better meet the needs of customers.
Drones and auto-cars, along with digitally automated warehouse technology, will increase the efficiency of logistics and deliveries of product to consumers.
“The new Digital Ecosystem does not only allow every customer to access the services, but also assists Central Group’s project of Community Products. This gives opportunities to over 10,000 Thai SMEs, OTOP craft makers and local farm producers to grow and achieve success together with Central.
Exports of quality products to international markets will be boosted as they can expand their markets and distribution channels to cover both domestic and international customers.
Products on the JD.co.th website will also appear on the JD.com webpages in China. It is projected that Thai exports to China will be no less than 100 billion baht within 2 years.”