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PHUKET: Choice, and lots of it, is what Phuket’s cosmopolitan consumers are demanding, and as the shopping scene transforms to adapt to more local-centric lifestyles among the island’s international community, smaller family-oriented malls are taking shape across the island.

Leading the way in bringing a more upmarket shopping experience is shopping and lifestyle guru Kanittha Prasopsirikul, managing director of ‘By Kanittha’, who is a driving force behind new shopping experiences on the island, including the Lighthouse Weekend Market launched at Boat Lagoon in January this year.

“The northern half of Phuket has grown as a desirable residential area close to international schools and hotels. However, families living in these areas have not always had much choice in affordable shopping destinations where they can take the kids to be entertained while mum and dad take time out to do some shopping,” said Ms Kanittha.

“Phuketians have always enjoyed having plenty to choose from when shopping at local markets, where locally grown produce and homemade baked goods can be found, but today’s cosmopolitan consumers are demanding more quality and convenience.”

By Kanittha market research has shown a demand for quality goods and personal services; shops for everyday living needs; and edutainment for active kids, all of which needs to caters to the surrounding international community, said Ms Kanittha.

New shopping venues are coming to the east coast soon as local developer Boat Development, proprietor of Boat Lagoon in Koh Kaew and Boat Avenue in Cherng Talay, aims to fill the gap.

“Following the successful monthly markets along the marina’s dockside, which attracted several thousand visitors each weekend, we aim to offer a similarly enjoyable experience on a daily basis, putting local businesses in touch with local customers, while giving those customers a convenient place to relax, snack and meet friends,” said Ms Kanittha.

A new shopping arcade under construction at Boat Lagoon plans to bring new business opportunities to local entrepreneurs on the east coast this September.

The brand new Boat Arcade will be a mixed-use community arcade offering a healthy variety of complementary outlets. It will feature 25 units for rent in various shapes and sizes on two floors. The site has already attracted top-class tenants, such as Villa Market, Siam Commercial Bank; Doi Tung Lifestyle; Grand Italia Ice Cream; USA Design; Artisan Wine Shop; Kai Coffee & Bakery; PAPA Music; and a tae kwondo school.

“We aim to fill the remaining units with more creative edutainment facilities along side stores such as florists, hotel supply stores, cafes, health and beauty salons, pet shops, service centers and possibly more vocational training establishments, such as a cookery school,” said Ms Kanittha.

— Nick Davies

 

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