CENTRAL CURRENTLY OPERATES BRANCHES AT:
1. Childlom (opened in 1973)
2. Lardprao (opened in 1983)
3. Bangna (opened in 1993)
4. Pinklao (opened in 1995)
5. Zen, World Trade Center (opened in 1989)
6. Rama 3 (opened in 1997)
7. Silom Complex (opened in 1991)
8. Future Park, Rangsit (opened in 1996)
9. Ramindra (opened in 1993)
10. Kad Suan Kaew, Chiang Mai (opened in 1992)
11. Had-Yai, Songkhla (opened in 1994)
12. Rama II (opened in 2002)
13. Phuket (opened in 2004)
14. Chaengwattana (opened in 2008)
15. Pattaya Beach (opened in 2009)
16. Central Festival Chiangmai (opened in 2013)
17. Central Festival Hadyai (opened in 2013)
18. Central Festival Samui (opened in 2014)
19. SALAYA Branch (opened in 2014)
20. Central WestGate (opened in 2015)
21. Central Festival EastVille (opened in 2015)
At first, Samrit was attracted with the Chinese word "Tong Iang" meaning "Central" and wanted to name their store with this word but Samrit who came up with the store's name. At first, he wanted to use the Thai word "Klang" but as the English word sounded more melodious, he chose "Central", meaning "at the heart or at the centre", since he envisioned a centre where customers could find all the goods and services that they wanted.
And in 1992, Central created another "first". It opened the Kad Suan Keaw branch in Chiang Mai and became the first Bangkok department store to open a branch in the provinces, much to the delight of local residents and visiting tourists.
In 1991, the Silom Complex branch was opened, providing office workers in the Silom business area with another Central Department Store.
In 1989, Central targeted the high end market by opening the first Zen Department Store in the World Trade Centre (Central World now). This more exclusive store focused on younger and more affluent customers and featured modern, trendy products and designs.
In 1988, Central expanded to Hua Mark, employing the latest technology i.e. bar codes, to provide more efficient customer service.
The opening of Central Lad Prao followed in 1983. This branch became the largest department store in Thailand, with the most comprehensive selection of products.
In 1981, the Central Lad Ya Branch, the most modern and comprehensive department store in Thonburi. was opened.
The Chidlom branch opened in 1973. Under the new "one stop shopping" concept, customers could come to Central and buy everything they needed in one place.
In 1968, he opened a fashionable, new branch on Silom Road which proved to be very popular because of its ultra modern facilities and the first supermarket to be linked with a department store.
In 1950 the business soared and soon he was renting a 3 unit shophouse in the Suriwongse District near the corner of Oriental Lane and Charoen Krung Road. It should be noted that Central was one of a few stores in Bangkok that dared to order imported goods for sale and was the first to set up merchandising displays. 6 year later, most importantly, the Central Wang Burapa was the first store in Thailand to feature fixed prices for products, introducing a standard price with no bargaining and a strange and innovative practice unlike at retail shops elsewhere. Since customers trusted in the quality, in the end, operations were successful. Samrit then decided open another branch of the store in the Chinese Yaowaraj District. The Yaowaraj branch, however, was not successful because Chinese residents in this area were very economical by nature and preferred to buy from the market and small shops rather than from big stores.Central Yoawaraj was the big lesson about customers behavior. With this lesson they have never failed twice! Central have grown and open many branches.
In 1947 as the business grew, Tiang and Samrit Chirathivat had the new idea of ordering merchandise such as ready-made clothes and cosmetics from abroad to sell in addition to his newspapers and magazines. The idea originated from seeing advertisements in his foreign publications.
- From the beginning: In 1927
22-years-old Nitiang or Tiang Chirathivat, traversed the sea from Hainan in the Mainland China to settle down in Siam. He married Khun Whan and had the first child, Hokseng. In that days no one could imagine that the little family would turn a new page of Thai merchant history. The business family began as a tiny retail outlet in Thonburi area, Bangkok. As the success of the first tiny shop, they decided to open a new shophouse with an area of 50 sq. named, "Keng Seng Lee" (baskets for sale) in Bang Khun Thien area, Bangkok to sell coffee, utensils etc. The room of the shop was also applied to tailor and barber. Hok Seng, Tiangs eldest son whose name in Thai, Samrit means Fortune and Success. It seemed that Samrit was brought success to their business and the family. As the eldest child of the family , he always enthusiastically helped his parents doing home business and invested with his friends on importing magazine from aboard to sell in Bangkok. Later, in 1927, the store moved to Charoen Krung Road, at the corner of Captain Bush Lane in Bangkok's Si Phraya district. The single unit shophouse sold a large variety of local and international newspapers and magazines and carried the name "Central Trading Store". This was the first chapter of Central Department Stores history.