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Thailand's Central Group making over its department stores

New eateries, services aimed at boosting spending, countering visitor decline

Central Group will remodel its department stores to make them more enticing for shoppers.

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Central Group will spend some 350 million baht ($10.3 million) to remodel its department stores in the country, offering a fuller range of services to keep customers staying longer and spending more.

The retail heavyweight will add eateries, salons and educational facilities, as well as events such as art exhibitions, according to a plan announced Wednesday. While the number of visitors to Thai department stores has fallen as more people do their shopping on trips abroad, per-customer spending is on the rise, according to Yuwadee Chirathivat, CEO of unit Central Department Store Group.

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