UTHAI THANI TOWN – Central Pattana, Thailand’s leading retail conglomerate, announced today that it plans to purchase the entire province of Uthai Thani with the intention of building a province-sized mall that will serve regional and local shopping needs for the foreseeable future.
“Central Province is the next logical step in Thailand’s cultural and business development,” said Wallaya Chirathivat, senior executive vice president for business development.
According to Wallaya, Uthai Thani was chosen because of its location between metropolitan Bangkok and the northern cities of Sukhothai and Chiang Mai, and its proximity to Burma, which is expected to develop a consumer class in the next fifteen years.
Under the plan, Central Group will assume complete ownership and sovereignty over Uthai Thani Province, which will be renamed Central Province. Under the company’s stewardship, the new province will remain a subsidiary territory of the Kingdom of Thailand, but with its own local and municipal laws and administration.
“Central Province will be just like Thailand, but with even more services and products to serve its customers needs,” explained Wallaya.
The CEO of Central Pattana PLC will serve as the provincial governor, and all businesses, residential properties, and health providers will be subsidiaries of the corporation. The capital city of Uthai Thani Town, to be renamed Central Midnight Sale Town, will be replaced with the nation’s largest mall, a sprawling 45-square-kilometer behemoth that will feature some 650,000 shops, 120,000 food outlets, parking for 4.5 million cars, and the world’s largest and most high-consumption air-conditioning system.
Citizens of Uthai Thani will be given one year to either move out or accept jobs as employees of Central Pattana. Those who stay will be required to spend their entire salaries at Central-owned retailers and service providers, as all other providers will be prohibited by provincial law.
Along with many other benefits, every citizen of Central Province will be given their own One Card to earn loyalty points and great savings.
Wallaya assured residents that other than a unification of branding, life will be largely the same under Central control.
“According to our consumer research, Thais spend almost all their free time at malls, chain restaurants, or cinemas,” he said. “As far as we can tell, they have no interest in art, alternative culture, new experiences, or the outdoors. So for the new citizens of Central Province, life will be pretty much exactly the same.”
In response to the announcement, Central Pattana’s competitor The Mall Group announced its own plans to purchase the province of Maha-Sarakham and rename it Province Ultra Extravaganza.