Good news for shopaholics: the almost 10-month renovation of downtown Bangkok’s Siam Discovery shopping mall is finally coming to an end. On May 28, 2016, one of the city’s most popular malls is back to life and with a brand new concept—a “revolutionary one” as described by Mrs. Chadatip Chutrakul, CEO of Siam Piwat Co. Ltd, who owns the premises. “Our role as a retailer has advanced to another level and become one of managing visitors’ experiences and emotions at the destination, rather than just one of managing products, categories and displays,” he explains.
Rebranded as the “Exploratorium”, Siam Discovery is described as the first shopping mall in Thailand where customers, rather than brands, are at the centre of the shopping experience. Mrs. Chadatip went on to say: “Everything presented at Siam Discovery is not organized by brand, or category, as in traditional retailing, but by the visitors’ interest, because our purpose is no longer just to sell products but to provide an extraordinary and emotional experience to the visitor allowing them to discover themselves, as well as express themselves. We enhance that experience by presenting a story rather than just products, and by giving visitors opportunities to make a statement about their way of life.”
The total investment for the Siam Discovery facelift is estimated at THB4 billion, or US$115 million. The last bits of scaffolding are now being taken away, unveiling a new minimalist geometric façade, patterned with white squares and rectangles. The concept is the work of world-acclaimed Japanese designer ‘Nendo’ (aka Oki Sato), who has been voted one of the ‘100 Most Respected Japanese’ by Newsweek Magazine. He provided the overall design inspiration for the reinvented mall, both outside and inside. He was helped in his task by Urban Architect Co. Ltd, a Thai architectural design and interior design company.
Siam Center, which is the mall next to Siam Discovery, pioneered back to 2013 a new concept of associating design and shopping experience with individually-tailored shops. IconSiam, the next huge project of Siam Piwat along the Chao Praya River, will bring another new life experience for shopping fans and visitors to Bangkok around the end of 2017.
“Within the first year, we aim to have 100,000 people a day visiting, of which 35% would be foreigners,” estimates Chadatip Chutrakul.
Siam Centre, the new Siam Discovery or the future IconSiam: Siam Piwat Co. Ltd, shows its ambitions to reinvent shopping experiences in Bangkok; turning Thailand’s capital city into one of the most exciting shopping paradises in Asia—and probably in the world!