Central Group Milestones

Explore our heritage, innovations, and landmark events that have formed today’s Central Group.

First Steps to Create Tomorrow (1947-1973)

Tiang Chirathivat and his son Samrit evolved a new style of business when they progressed from their small family-owned general store to a shophouse selling international books, magazines and imported goods and then to the first department store in Thailand.

Leading the Modern Era (1974-1993)

During a period of rapid change the group opened the Central Chidlom flagship store in Bangkok, took the department store concept to other parts of the country, and diversified into the chain restaurant business and hotels.

Borderless World (1994-2014)

Central Group became an international company, opening hotels in overseas markets, moving decisively into the European luxury retail sector, and becoming the largest foreign retailer in Vietnam.

The Digital Transformation (2015 - present)

Through increased use of technology and by entering into strategic ventures with world-class partners the group is moving towards an omnichannel platform that will fully embrace the digital lifestyle.


Commenced the first Central Group business in a small shophouse in Bangkok selling local and international books and magazines and other general merchandises


Founded Central Trading and expanded the product range to include imported goods such as ready-made clothes and cosmetics


Opened the first Central Department Store in Wang Burapa district, the biggest department store in Thailand at that time


Opened Central Chidlom, Thailand's first full-scaled department store, our Flagship store today


Opened "Mister Donut", a donut franchise from Japan - the commencement of Central Group in fast food business, now "Central Restaurant Group"


Established Central Plaza Co., Ltd. (now Central Pattana PCL) to undertake retail property development and management business


Opened Central Plaza Ladprao, Thailand's first mixed-use complex comprises a department store, retail shops, hotel and office building


Central Retail Corporation incorporated to extend the Group's retail businesses


Central Plaza Hotel Public Co., Ltd. (CENTEL) Listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand


Opened Central Department Store - Kad Suan Kaew, Chiang Mai - The first Central Department Store in upcountry


Acquired Robinson Department Store, no. 2 department store chain at that time


Launched new specialty format
Tops Supermarket - now the largest supermarket chain in Thailand


Launched new specialty format
PowerBuy - now the leading retailer of electrical appliances, IT products, mobile phones and gadgets in Thailand
Supersports - now Thailand's no. 1 sporting goods retailer


Launched new specialty format
B2S, Central Group's books, entertainment, and stationery specialty store


Acquired the World Trade Center property and renamed to CentralWorld


His Majesty King Rama IX granted Central Department Store the right to use the Royal Garuda Emblem - the Royal Warrant of Appointment granted to companies and businesses that show exceptional services and commitment to the economic and social development of the nation


Launched The1Card, Central Group's loyalty program (now the largest loyalty program in Thailand)


Launched new specialty format
Thai Watsadu, a one-stop shopping store for building supplies and construction materials, the first large standalone specialty format of Central Group


Acquired the Rinascente collection of luxury department stores in Italy, our first entry into Europe


2 Major acquisitions
OfficeMate, Thailand's no.1 B2B e-business and total business solution and
FamilyMart, Thailand's No. 2 convenience store chain


Acquired ILLUM Department Store, Denmark - a luxurious Scandinavanian department store


Debuted Central Online, our first webstore for Central Department Store


Opened Central Embassy, the iconic landmark of luxury retail


Acquired Nguyen Kim (one of the leading electronics retailers in Vietnam) and Lanchi Mart (a modern retail pioneer in rural Vietnam)


Acquired 3 luxury department stores in Germany – KaDeWe, Oberpollinger, and Alsterhaus – through the acquisition of KaDeWe Group


Acquired Big C Vietnam, and later renamed to "GO!"


Opened Park Hyatt Bangkok Hotel


Forged alliances with JD.com, Dusit, Hongkong Land, IKEA


Launched JD Central and Central JD Fintech


Invested in Grab Thailand - a leading online-to-offline mobile platform


Acquired Swiss luxury department store chain “GLOBUS” through the joint venture with SIGNA Group


Debuted Central Retail Corporation PCL (CRC), largest-ever IPO in the history of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)


Acquired 100% shares of Family Mart, one of Thailand’s major convenience store chains


Agreed on the acquisition for Siam Future Development Public Company Limited (SF) with the plan to expand its portfolio of Super Regional Mall


Launched “Centara Reserve” offering luxurious and exceptional relaxing experiences, with the first Centara Reserve in Samui.


Invested 4,500 million baht to acquire stakes in Grab, ASEAN’s first Decacorn


Acquired Selfridges Group in Europe togerther with Signa emphasizing its position of the world’s leading retail company.