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Traditional department store Globus – This is the Thai family company behind Globus – News

Traditional department store Globus – This is the Thai family company behind Globus – News


The Central Group is controlled by one of Thailand's richest families.

A DJ plays on the ground floor, among models and customers quickly passing by. Right next to him, young men wait behind the barricade of a Thai boy band. It's a typical weekday afternoon in Central World, Bangkok. In addition to shopping malls, this includes supermarkets, restaurants, real estate, hotels and resorts. The wide-ranging group is led by third-generation CEO Tos Chirathivat.

The Family Council takes notice

The fact that large companies are family-run is widespread in Asia, explains Paveda Pananonde, professor of international business at Thammasat University. Most Thai companies are family controlled.

Like many other wealthy families in Southeast Asia, the Chirathivas have their origins in China. The current CEO's grandfather immigrated from China in the 1920s.


Tos Chirathivat is the CEO of Central Group.

Reuters/Athit Birawongmitha

Tiang Chirativat started out modestly. He sold drinks and then opened a store selling books and magazines with his son. According to media reports, Tiang had three wives and 26 children. The family is said to consist of more than 200 people today.

Huge retail collection

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Central Group (Thai literal translation: Klum Senthran) or Central Holdings, headquartered in Bangkok, is an internationally active conglomerate focused on retail, hotels, restaurants and real estate. It is famous for its chain stores and shopping malls.

Globus's Austrian partner, Signa, had to file for bankruptcy. The central group can therefore buy these shares.

Several family members work in the company. “You have a family council that ensures the separation of personal and business interests,” Paveda explains. She describes it as “family governance,” which also ensures that the right people are selected.

Luxury stores in Europe

The group has also been active in Europe for several years. The focus there is on traditional brands such as La Rinascente in Italy, KaDeWe in Germany, and Selfridges in Great Britain.

Asian woman smiling


Paveda Pananand is a professor of international business at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

SRF/Martin Aldrovandi

Professor Paveda explains that the investments provide potential for other businesses such as hotels and restaurants. The high value of properties in expensive locations is also of interest to the group. In addition, famous European department stores attract tourists from Asia.

“Targeted and long-term investments”

As we have seen in other countries, the “central group” is not inclined to make radical changes, Paveda says. The group also tends to stick with the current management. The group invests in a targeted and long-term manner. For Globus, this all looks positive at first. But she cannot comment on what a full takeover of the various Globus subsidiaries in Switzerland might mean specifically, Paveda says.

However, previous experiences have shown that the group focuses its major stores primarily on important cities.