Gold decorations will be on display at the opening of the Aurora gold store in the Megabangna branch. (Photo by Darana Chudasri)
Aurora, the country’s largest gold and jewelry trader, plans to add another 200 million baht to its share capital to meet regulatory requirements that require at least 300 million baht to be listed on the Thai stock exchange.
The proceeds from the listing will be used to expand the business.
Bandid Kunaruangroj, vice president of marketing at Aurora, said the company plans to expand to 500 stores across the country by 2024, strengthen online marketing channels, and add a new division called “Khong Kwan” for gold and jewelry retail gifts market tests in two branches.
Mr Bandid said the store expansion was necessary as mass consumers are familiar with buying gold in retail stores. However, the trend is gradually moving towards digital channel and lifestyle gold businesses.
Last year, the company’s online sales through its website and e-commerce marketplace grew 200%, which is 4% of its total sales of 15 billion baht. The traditional channel shrank mainly due to the reduced purchasing power of customers during the pandemic.
He said Aurora ranked number 1 in terms of sales and growth on the Shopee platform among gold sellers last year.
“The younger generations love to invest in gold instead of wearing it,” said Bandid. “They don’t go into gold stores either, they buy on e-marketplaces where orders can be delivered within three hours.”
The company is offering a gold savings program for this segment and is creating a new store for gold gifts and jewelry separate from traditional gold retailing.
These strategies are adaptations to customer behavior changes as the company seeks to survive in the face of intense competition, he said.
Aurora has been a gold wholesaler for 47 years. The company is the first gold dealer to open branches in modern trading stores and build customer loyalty with product quality guarantees and lifelong customer service.
At the end of last year, Aurora had 1 million customers from 220 stores nationwide. This year, the expansion to 255 branches is to take place.
Last year, Aurora gained a 25% market share of total gold retailing worth 50 billion baht, according to the Commerce Department, up from 22% year over year.
This year the company expects total sales of 16 billion baht, triggered by a marketing campaign, although the industry is expected to shrink 10% due to lower sales and gold prices.
Mr Bandid said gold bullion prices could bottom out at 22,000 baht this year before picking up in the fourth quarter to a new high of 32,000 baht, triggered by the global economic recovery and the weakening of the baht.