Thailand is a country in a strategic location and serves as a gateway into the heart of Asia at the center of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It has a market of some 65 million people. Thai culture has been shaped by many different influences over the years, including Indian, Lao, Burmese, Cambodian, and Chinese.

Tourism is an important component of the Thai economy with over 24 million visitors per annum, the majority from Malaysia, China, Russia and Japan.

Despite the unsteady political situation in late 2013 to early 2014 plus the slowdown in the global economy, the Thai economy has been improving slightly. It is forecasted to grow by 3%-4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015-2016.

Even though Retail sales index has decreased in 2013-2014 as a result of economic slowdown, it is expected to increase in 2015 because the government has announced it is to invest in infrastructure, and the economy is recovering.

The retail market in Thailand continues to expand, and not only in the capital Bangkok. For the past 10 years, the trend of community mall development was popularized and developed by most of the locals while the retail market in Thailand is dominated by a couple of large developers. Great location and consulting with retail professionals is a must for the community mall to survive.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS*2012201320142015F2016F
GDP growth
Consumer spending
Manufacturing production
Investment 13.2-
Unemployment rate (%)
THB/€ (average)40.3644.1740.24n/an/a
THB/US$ (average)30.6032.0832.91n/an/a
Interest rates 3-month (%)
Interest rates 10-year (%)

NOTE: *annual % growth rate unless otherwise indicated. E estimate F forecast
Source: Bank of Thailand

Population 65.12 MILLION (2014)
GDPUSD 410.8 billion (2014)
Public sector balance -1.7% (2014)
Parliament Constitutional monarchy under military junta
Head of StateKing Bhumibol Adulyadej
Prime Minister Gen.Prayut Chan-o-cha
Election dates2016
2012201320142015 (MAR 15)2016F
Retail Sales Index (at 2002 price = 100)220.78219.83206.52221.17n/a

Source: Bank of Thailand, Fiscal Policy Office, Department of Provincial Administration

Nakhon Ratchasima2,620,517
Ubon Ratchathani1,844,669
Chiang Mai1,678,284
Udon Thani1,570,300
Source: Department of Provincial Administration

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Bangkok: 13.752222, 100.493889
Nakhon Ratchasima: 14.888248, 102.254792
Ubon Ratchathani: 15.072709, 105.219481
Khonkaen: 16.429211, 102.848253
Chiang Mai: 18.796464, 98.660059
Buriram: 14.847439, 102.989615
Udon Thani: 17.429408, 102.989615
Srisaket: 15.235652, 104.866180
Surin: 15.169610, 103.728917
Songkhla: 6.889992, 100.529611



CP fresh mart, S&P


Tesco Lotus, Mark & Spencer, Dean&Deluca


Naraya, Jim Thompson, BSC, Oriental Princess


H&M, Uniqlo, Sephora

Food & Beverage Operators

Fuji, MK Suki, Ootoya, BBQ Plaza, OISHI Group, McDonalds, Starbucks

10:30 - 21:0010:00-22:0010:00-22:00

The retail market in Thailand continues to expand and not only in the capital Bangkok. In every large city of Thailand, there are new retail developments ranging from the small to the mega end of the spectrum.  The retail market in Thailand is dominated by shopping malls and by a couple of large developers.  Many international brands are located in prime shopping malls and a number have their flagship stores in the prime shopping malls. Prime shopping malls help to promote brand image and marketing awareness in the market, especially in Rajprasong area and Sukhumvit area.  Demand is high for prime space, so in many malls there is a waiting list which can take a long time to get off. 

ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be effective in late 2015, many big retail developers and operators have been focusing and expanding their branches into boarder provinces for holding demand from neighbours. However, they have to pay attention on the different culture and lifestyle of the neighbours, Customer Relation Management (CRM) is advised to be the most important in this stage.

E-Commerce in Thailand is now popularised by social media, especially on Facebook and Instagram where the worldwide big players such as Amazon and E-bay have already gained popularity. The new comer of E-Commerce are using those social media platforms to promote their products at low cost, it could support local SME to sell online. According to A.T. Kearney’s Consumer Industries and Retail Practice in APAC’s study shows that the online retail market in Thailand has growth potential of USD12-15 billion or approximately 1% of total retail sales in Thailand.

A registered Thai company is needed to begin business.  Foreign companies need to register as a Thai company, with 51% Thai shareholding, before a business in Thailand can commence, unless the company is registered with the Board of Investment (BOI).

Fixed rent with option to renew is the most practical lease form used. A lease term of 3-years plus an option to renew is most accepted in the market. A fixed monthly rent with increases every 3-years by 5%-15% is also possible with negotiation.  For options of more than a 3-year lease term, leases need to be registered at the land department office.

It normally takes 3-6 months for retailers to occupy retail space. This can vary dependent on the space selected.


New Entrants to the Market

BANANA REPUBLICCharlotte OlympiaTiffany & Co.Harrods tea roomPierre Herme

Central WorldBangkok192,0001989, 2007 renovated
Siam ParagonBangkok170,0002006
Seacon Bangkae Bangkok170,0002012
Seacon SquareBangkok135,0001994
Future Park Rangsit132,0001994
Fashion Island RamindraBangkok106,0001995
Paradise ParkBangkok90,0002009
Central Grand Rama 9Bangkok89,6002011
Central Plaza LadpraoBangkok88,7001983, 2013 renovated
Central Plaza PinklaoBangkok83,7001995, 2015 renovated

Lease TermsTypical term of 1-3 years is a short term lease. A lease of 4- 30 years is defined as long term lease and it is needed to have Lease Registration at land department office. A 30-year lease is the highest number of years that can be registered at a time.
Rental PaymentRents are payable monthly in advance. Fixed monthly rents are the most practical in the market. Percentage rents are seen in some shopping centres especially in food & beverage zones. For long lease retailers (maximum of 30-year lease term), they pay all the rent at once when they occupy the premise and pay common area charge by monthly. A security deposit is required for a tenant for guaranteed; it practically requires 3- 6 months’ rent equivalent commonplace for a 3-year lease term.
Rent ReviewIndexation is not common practice but is being seen on an increasing basis. It is practical to up rent to 5%-15% in every lease term of 3-year, the increasing is upon negotiation.
Service Charges, Repairs and Insurance Tenant is responsible for service charges; it covers utility charges and VAT of rented accommodation. Repairs and insurance of rented accommodation is tenant’s responsibility. Landlord is responsible for repairs and insurance of building structure and common area.
Property Taxes and other costs Tenant is responsible for property tax (12.5% of rent), VAT at 7% and Common area charge. Common area charge covers the maintenance of external rented accommodation, cost of utilities in common area, cost of management fee, security, cleaning, landscaping, air-conditioning, servicing of elevators and escalators.
Disposal of a LeaseSub-letting is usually possible under the terms of the lease, subject to landlord’s approval. Assignment rights are not normally barred in the lease but will also be subject to consent – which should not be unreasonably withheld. Early termination is only by break clause – to be negotiated at outset of lease by mutual consent upon negotiation. At lease end, the tenant is responsible for re-instating the premises to the same condition as at the start of the lease, subject to normal wear and tear. All tenant improvements must be approved by the landlord subject to the alteration covenant in the lease and the fact that approval should not be unreasonably withheld.
Valuation MethodsRetail measurements are normally quoted in sq.m on a Net Internal Area basis, which excludes walls, restrooms, elevators and common areas.
LegislationLease must be in writing and the lease document forms the standard documentation is required. Lease term over 3-year, maximum 30-year, is needed to be registered at land department office.

Thailand Contacts


Executive Director
Nexus Property Consultants Co., Ltd.
31st Floor, Bangkok Insurance Building/Y.M.C.A
25 South Sathorn Road, Thungmahamek
Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Tel: +662 286 8899
Mob: +6681 803 8841