“Central to Life”
Thailand’s leading retail business creates shared values for all.
Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited (CRC) is Thailand’s leading omnichannel retail leader with a diverse portfolio including department stores, hypermarkets, convenience stores, sales counters, digital marketplaces, mobile applications, personal shoppers, and more. The company operates in three countries, namely, Italy, Vietnam, and Thailand, where it is headquartered.
As the country’s first “Green & Sustainable Retail” platform, CRC places priority on people and community with a mission to improve quality of life. This is guided by the belief that development, empowerment and inclusion are critical for business growth, competitiveness and the benefit of the community as a whole.
Based on its Creating Shared Values (CSV) concept, CRC believes in creating a positive business impact that also serves social needs. The company’s social development initiative, Central Tham, is one key CSV project that’s designed to study and understand community needs, then develop quality products and solutions using local resources. This creates job opportunities and enhances living standards, while empowering communities to grow sustainably.
In order to meet its goal to create job opportunities for the communities it serves, each Central Tham project consists of an extensive community contribution strategy that is divided into eight categories, including product development; product and package design; facilities improvement; business knowledge sharing; merchandising; logistics; distribution channels; and communication channels. These categories are then applied to the communities based on their identified needs, as well as CRC’s available resources and assets that match those needs.
For example, if a community is found lacking in product and package design, Central Tham will dispense designers and utilise their understanding of current trends in order to develop and improve locally available products. If another community does not have proper distribution channels, it will assist in providing offline and online sales channels and marketing assets.
To ensure high compact and high engagement, CRC uses key performance indicators (KPI) to carefully select program partners to work with in the respective communities. Each project must also meet three main criteria, namely, long term results, quality and public interest. This is consistently monitored to guarantee sustainable use of time and resources, with the ultimate goal of ensuring these partners are able to expand their business independently in the long run.
As of 2022, the Central Tham project has assisted communities in 44 provinces, benefiting 500,000 villagers from 100,000 families across the country. Some noteworthy initiatives include the Jing Jai Farmers’ Market that provides a distribution channel for local farmers; Na Muan Sri, which helps develop local products in respond to customers’ emerging needs; Good Goods, a project that promotes local heritage and skills to bring income and satisfaction to the local artisan community; and Bhu Chee Duan, a project that encourages communities to grow coffee to generate income while preserving the forest.
Through these projects, CRC is able to engage the local communities and equip them with retail knowledge and skills to ensure they would be able to grow their businesses in the long term. The company also sets targets for each project to measure specific aspects of the initiative, such as the number of people participating in the project and the amount of income generated in the community. It also reviews, adjusts targets and monitors these metrics to ensure the desired results of the project are achieved.
Besides empowering communities to generate long-term business and sustainable growth, Central Tham projects foster relationships between different parties. As an example, the Jing Jai Farmers’ Market allows customers to interact directly with farmers and learn more about the origin of products and provide feedback in order to improve the quality of production. These interactions ultimately help the businesses become self-sufficient and potentially scale up in the future.