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The Korat Mall - How do the shops survive

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SpokaneAl    1,372
is is not Just a Thai phenomena.  Take a look at everyone's favorite e-commerce site like Amazon or  Lazada. 100's of sellers all offering the exact same item, at the exact same price.
I run an e-commerce consulting business and the first question the newbies ask is, "What are the most popular items I can sell"?  I'm sure it is similar here too.  The new guys don't know enough about business and the major name stores want to make sure their brand name is represented in all markets.
 
It is not a big deal when you are a little mom and pop type operation and you make 2 or 3 hundred extra Baht each day when you have a low overhead.  It does get to be a major problem at the large malls when mall management wants a fixed rent and utilities payment every month.


One problem with on line selling is that there are no barriers to entry. Years ago, actually a decade or so, I was offering my services as a resume writer on Ebay. Things were going pretty well until more and more competitors entered the picture, driving the price down to virtually free and where it was not worth my while nor my efforts.


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

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blazes    857

I once came across a series of pomelo stands up in the hills above Chiang Mai.  About 10 all side by side.  Same pomelos exactly.  My gf got out and bought 2.  I said, when she got back in the truck: " how did you know which stand to buy the pomelo from when they were all the same".   

She replied: "I bought from the pooying who smiles the most kindly."

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mick220675    333
37 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

If you've ever bought glasses in Thailand, you'd quickly figure out they only need to sell a pair or two a day to pay the rent and the cuties' salaries.  They can look dead empty for 7 hours out of an 8 hour day and still do okay.

 

I have bought a couple of pairs of glasses in thailand and you are right they a very expensive, but my local Top charoen optician would be lucky to sell a pair a week. 

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impulse    11,994
6 minutes ago, mick220675 said:

I have bought a couple of pairs of glasses in thailand and you are right they a very expensive, but my local Top charoen optician would be lucky to sell a pair a week. 

 

Gotta figure they have a lock on it (since they seem to have a shop on every block in Thailand), but I wonder what would happen if someone were to set up a shop, hire an optometrist (short skirt and all), order the custom glasses from Zenni and sell them for a small fraction of the Thai price?

 

Hmmmmm....

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Grubster    1,481

Money laundering. Steal billions from the people, or sell drugs and claim that all your riches come from selling glasses. Simple but effective. Easy to fudge books here.

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impulse    11,994
1 minute ago, Grubster said:

Money laundering. Steal billions from the people, or sell drugs and claim that all your riches come from selling glasses. Simple but effective. Easy to fudge books here.

 

I don't doubt that it happens.  But they wouldn't need 1/4 of their locations to launder $$$ billions.  It's gotta be more insidious.

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Grubster    1,481
2 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

I don't doubt that it happens.  But they wouldn't need 1/4 of their locations to launder $$$ billions.  It's gotta be more insidious.

It happens constantly everywhere and is too obvious when you look at it as there is no way they could stay afloat selling three pairs of glasses per day. I guess most of us know that high government officials are involved in these crimes in most countries so there is little interest in investigating these stores.

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impulse    11,994
17 minutes ago, Grubster said:

It happens constantly everywhere and is too obvious when you look at it as there is no way they could stay afloat selling three pairs of glasses per day. I guess most of us know that high government officials are involved in these crimes in most countries so there is little interest in investigating these stores.

 

My plain vanilla reading glasses that I could order from Zenni for $20-30 cost me 7500 baht at Top Ch.  That's almost 6500 baht gross margin.  Figure 2 cuties at 12,000 per month each and rent at 50,000 per month and they'd need to sell about 12 pairs a month to pay the salaries and rent.  Hopefully, the cuties get a bonus for selling more than 12 a month.

 

If they sold just 2 pairs a day, they'd gross around 450,000 baht a month against shop expenses of 75,000 and COGS of 60,000.  Take out some corporate overhead and advertising and they'd have a decent business if they had hundreds of those shops.  Even better if they sold 3 pairs a day.  I'm not saying they aren't in the laundry business.  Just that it's possible they're not.

 

(BTW, I left my reading glasses in a taxi my first month in BKK and needed a replacement quickly- or I'd have gone the Zenni route.)

Edited by impulse
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seancbk    1,411
1 hour ago, impulse said:

 

If you've ever bought glasses in Thailand, you'd quickly figure out they only need to sell a pair or two a day to pay the rent and the cuties' salaries.  They can look dead empty for 7 hours out of an 8 hour day and still do okay.



Population of Bangkok around 8 million. 

Let's assume 10% of the population wear glasses or contact lenses.   That would be 800,000 people (+/-)

 

Let's just talk about the contact lens wearers and for the purposes of this discussion say its 50% of the above number.   That give us 400,000 people (+/-)

 

OK so that it is 400,000 people who need to buy lens fluid and replacement (disposable lenses) regularly.   Lets say once a month.

400,000 people shopping once a month, but spread over the month is 400,000 / 30 = 13,300 customers a day in Bangkok.  

I know there are a lot of places they can buy their lens fluid and lenses, but 13,300 customers a day in Bangkok alone is still huge sales.   

Figure average customer purchase of 300 THB a month (actually I'd guess much more but we'll keep it low for now)   400,000 x 300 THB = 120 Million THB per month on contact lens fluid and lenses.


120 million THB in revenue is a conservative estimate for the business volume of contact lens related business in Bangkok during a single month.

So yeah I wonder how they stay in business.


 

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impulse    11,994
53 minutes ago, seancbk said:

So yeah I wonder how they stay in business.

 

Agreed, but have you ever actually seen anyone in one of their shops buying anything?  I can't recall ever seeing anyone.  Not that I pay attention beyond the cuties staring out the window...

 

I totally forgot contacts and the necessaries.   But can't you get those (necessaries) at Boots and other skin whitening stores, reducing their ability to gouge their customers?

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bentarm44    74

Feels a bit like some kind of attempt at mass hypnosis/indoctrination, or another version of "The Emperors New Clothes".

Thailand likes to tell itself how well it's doing, and how everything's going to keep getting better; so lets all go shopping all the time.

I live 70 km east of Korat town, near Phimai; and the locals round here have LESS disposable income now than 5 years ago. I guess the inhabitants of Korat Town are wealthier; but when I visit the Mall, or T21, I see mostly family groups shuffling round huddled close together looking over-awed; and if they do stop to spend any money it'll be on food or drink to consume on the spot.

So, to hell with education, health care etc; go get that new smart (sic) phone that your neighbor just borrowed money to buy.

You can always sell it off at a loss when no ones looking. 

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lungbing    899
On 1/12/2017 at 10:56 AM, thehelmsman said:

There has to be more to it than just bad business sense. Take all the home improvement places as another example, the employees outnumber the customers. It's a mystery.

Until you get to the checkout desk, where's there's one young girl, and a large queue of frustrated farangs 

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geisha    371

Such a shame that there is no individuality in Thailand. As everyone has said, all shops/ businesses sell the same things. But the question is , why ? If you go to Bali, for example , or Singapore/Malaysia , you will find so many shops selling great fashion , art, jewellery etc , that you have to curb yourself from buying  everything. This never happens to me in Thailand, I go to the malls , and if I see something nice, generally they only have tiny sizes ! So wouldn't you think that in Bangkok,  Pattaya  and Phuket ,  they would  cater to tourists  a bit bigger than their Thai counterparts? Well no, they haven't caught on yet! Which is why you see huge stocks of slightly expensive clothes hanging on their rails gathering dust. So it must be a lack of experience in the retail buisness that brings this about, plus un inventiveness, and laziness , as personally, i get a bit fed up,of seeing salesgirls sleeping in a corner, and who get annoyed when you dare ask them for something. Terminal,21 in Bangkok do have original stuff, and there aren't any international shops there, so there's proof that some can make a success of it . 

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Eric1949    40
4 hours ago, impulse said:

 

If you've ever bought glasses in Thailand, you'd quickly figure out they only need to sell a pair or two a day to pay the rent and the cuties' salaries.  They can look dead empty for 7 hours out of an 8 hour day and still do okay.

My glasses only cost about 80 baht, when they break I just buy a new pair,  so if they sell a pair a day, the rent must be very cheap.

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impulse    11,994
50 minutes ago, Eric1949 said:

My glasses only cost about 80 baht, when they break I just buy a new pair,  so if they sell a pair a day, the rent must be very cheap.

 

You don't have a very complicated prescription if you can buy your glasses for 80 baht.  My single cut reading glasses cost 7500 at Top Ch.  And my progressive lenses cost 14,500- not at Top Ch.  And my prescription diving mask (with progressive lenses) cost 17,000- again, not at Top Ch.  Wouldn't take too many sales like that to pay the rent.

 

I don't think they even let you walk into Top Ch for 80 baht.

Edited by impulse
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BANGKOK 24 September 2017 20:51
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