Zalora Ltd., the fashion-focused e-commerce website, is aiming to become the biggest fashion retailer in Thailand through a cross-channel business model after its merger with COL, a subsidiary of Central Group.
Zalora Thailand CEO Ali A. Fancy says it will take six to 12 months for the company to complete its transformation. Central Group acquired the company in May, and is in the process of merging with the company’s operations.
The goal is to combine the synergies of Central and Zalora to form an “omni-channel” fashion-oriented platform for online and offline activities. The channel will accommodate the shopping behaviors of all customers.
According to Mr. Fancy, the company will continue using the Zalora website and brand. Zalora may integrate with COL on a department-by-department basis to boost both brands’ strengths.
Central Group has been in operation for 69 years, with nine business segments, including shopping malls, retail, brand management, real estate, food and services, and hotel and resorts. The company has 4,400 locations and branches in its network, and 10 million members of its The One Card. Central employs 70,000 people.
Central has the business savvy, the finances and the sales. Zalora has the large technology platform that can easily support Central’s foray into e-commerce. To ensure speed and flexibility, each department will operate independently.
Zalora also brings to the table its extensive e-commerce operation and logistics as well as its social media following. The brand has 1.6 million followers on Facebook, and receives two million visitors per month.
Zalora and Central will use cross-marketing activities to improve customer engagement in offline and online channels.