Central Department Store Co plans to allocate over THB 1bn (US$32mn) to open and renovate department stores under two brands, Central and Robinson, keen to capitalise on improving retail shopping sentiment this month. Of the total, five are in Bangkok, comprising Chidlom, Lat Phrao, Rama II, Rama III and Megabangna. One is in Pattaya and another is in Udon Thani. The company detected a number of positive signs in the retail industry, such as a better domestic consumption and increasing government spending. As a result, the company plans to open the 34,000m2 Robinson Lifestyle Banchang, adjacent to Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, which is the largest estate in Rayong close to U-tapao airport. A new Robinson department store is also scheduled to open in Ayutthaya this October. The company plans also to renovate existing Robinson department stores in Rangsit, Ubon Ratchathani, Srisaman, Khon Kaen, Chachoengsao and Sri Racha this year. Central expects to finish all renovations by the end of this year. Central has developed new and modern strategies to tap rising demand derived from changes in consumer behaviour, offering omni-promotions and experiences. For instance, the company just launched the Midnight Market campaign at Central Chidlom, Lat Phrao, Central@CentralWorld, Pinklao, Bangna, EastVille and WestGate. The campaign increased traffic by 23%, sales by 50%, and transactions by 28% from non-promotional periods.