Aurora, the country’s largest gold and jewellery retailer, plans to raise its registered capital by an additional 200 million baht to meet the regulator’s requirement for a minimum of 300 million baht to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The proceeds from the listing will be used to expand its business.
Bandid Kunaruangroj, vice-president of marketing at Aurora, said the company plans to expand to 500 branches nationwide by 2024, in addition to boosting online marketing channels and adding a new business line called “Khong Kwan” gold and jewellery retail gift shops that is market testing at two branches.
Mr Bandid said the branch expansion is necessary because mass consumers are familiar with buying gold at retail shops. However, the trend is gradually moving towards the digital channel and lifestyle gold shops.
Last year the company’s online sales through its website and e-commerce marketplace surged 200%, representing 4% of total revenue worth 15 billion baht. The traditional channel shrank, mainly because of reduced customer purchasing power during the pandemic.
He said Aurora was No.1 in revenue and growth on the Shopee platform last year among gold sellers.
“The younger generations love investing in gold rather than wearing it,” said Mr Bandid. “They are also not going into gold shops, but buying from e-marketplaces where orders can be delivered within three hours.”
The company offers a gold-saving programme to serve this segment and is creating a new business for gifts made from gold and jewellery separate from the traditional gold retail shop.
These strategies are adjustments to customers’ behavioural changes, as the company looks to survive amid intense competition, he said.
Aurora has been a gold wholesaler for 47 years. The company is the first gold retailer to open branches in modern trade stores, building customer loyalty with product quality guarantees and lifetime after-sales service.
At the end of last year, Aurora had 1 million customers from 220 branches nationwide. It aims to expand to 255 branches this year.
Last year Aurora gained a market share of 25% of the total gold retail trade worth 50 billion baht, up from 22% year-on-year, according to the Commerce Ministry.
This year the company expects total revenue worth 16 billion baht spurred by a marketing campaign, though the industry is expected to shrink by 10% from lower sales and gold prices.
Mr Bandid said gold bar prices may bottom out at 22,000 baht this year before picking up in the fourth quarter, setting a new high at 32,000 baht spurred by the global economic recovery and weakening baht.