Thai retail conglomerate Central Group is set to buy the Thailand and Vietnamese businesses of online fashion retail company Zalora, according to reports.
TechCrunch reports that the sale of Zalora’s Thailand and Vietnam operations to Bangkok-based Central Group has been agreed in principle, though the companies involved have been unable to confirm the claims.
In operation for just four years, Zalora claims to have generated over 10 million mobile app downloads, and says it processes 1.4 million e-commerce transactions each year in the 10 Asia-Pacific nations in which it operates. But reports suggest that the company, which has yet to reach profitability, is making efforts to streamline its operations, and that the sale of its Thai and Vietnamese branches forms part of that strategy.
The move represents the first foray into e-commerce for Thai giant Central Group, a huge shopping centre and department store player in Thailand, with assets amounting to almost $10 billion and around 70,000 staff on its payroll.
The group also has a presence in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and elsewhere, but has until now – like its competitors – largely stayed out of the internet shopping scene, which continues to represent just a tiny percentage of overall trade in Southeast Asia