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Under The Spotlight By Shana Kongmun

Tjeert Kwant and the Promenada Resort Shopping Mall

Fun and funky furniture side by side with cool décor and beautiful antiques at one of the furniture stores upstairs in Building A at Promenada.

The Promenada Resort Shopping Mall wants to offer Chiang Mai a different and unique experience in a shopping center says CEO of ECC Development, Tjeert Kwant. This affable Dutch man and his wife Ellen have committed themselves to the mall and to serving the community. The mall has been the site for the Chiang Mai Fest, an international music concert as well as a host of other events.

Tjeert Kwant, CEO of ECC Development that manages Promenada Resort Shopping Mall, chats with Managing Editor Shana Kongmun at the café at the Rimping Supermarket in Promenada.

Tjeert told the Chiang Mai Mail that they are adding more stores in the next few months and are always on the lookout for the unique and the new. Tjeert pointed out that in the past 10 – 15 years there was no new square meters added in shopping malls but in the past year that jumped 250% with the addition of many new malls around town. Tjeert wants to create a new kind of mall with the Promenada, bringing in famous international fashion brand that has no presence in Thailand other than its store at Promenada which should open in the next few months.
Mr. Kwant said that the important thing is to bring in what is necessary, what is unique and different adding that the company would even help entrepreneurs financially. He noted that the political crisis has hit consumer confidence and that has caused a slowdown, retailers are hesitating in expanding and “everyone is putting the brakes on”. Everyone except Tjeert who sees opportunity, as others pull back Promenada will move in to fill the hole.
“We are allocating funds for people who want to move in,” he repeated, pointing out that it was necessary to add those shops and stores that make Promenada more effective. Many new restaurants are opening up soon, including Dave from the Duke’s new Italian venture ‘Ragu’ which will offer homestyle Italian cooking and a new Mexican restaurant in a few months. They are in talks to add a Korean restaurant and are looking at a French restaurant in Bangkok that wants to open a restaurant in Chiang Mai.
“We would like a nice mix of international cuisines in Promenada,” he said, “not chains but good restaurants offering fine food.”
The mall is expanding into non-traditional areas offering fine furniture, boutique fashion and even a higher end night club downstairs. The upper floor already has four furniture stores offering an array of good furniture including export quality leather sofas and reclining chairs as well as more boutique style decorator furniture. Promenada is adding two more stores in the near future expanding the furniture area by 200 square meters.

Export quality leather furniture is now available at Promenada.

The CEO said they have dropped plans on the ice skating rink, noting that extensive research on ice rinks in Bangkok have shown that they are a very hit or miss enterprise. “It is difficult to predict,” Mr. Kwant said, “but what we saw was that only some places were popular, like Central World, but considering how many people use it there should be more people on the rink.”
Instead, they will add a roller skating rink in front of the Uniglo. There is a roller skating club in Chiang Mai, about 70 members, Tjeert said, and they expect more people to start skating once it’s open. The rink will be open for Songkran and will be fully open by the first week of May. He did note that a roller skating rink is also much easier to maintain and that it can even be moved when needed.
The mall will be adding a bookstore, more of a knowledge center Tjeert said, offering a selection of books in many languages, not just Thai or English as well as the creative tools necessary for learning such as paints, clay etc.
Promenada is adding 12 – 15 new stores in the next six months including books, fashion, furniture, accessories. “Our plan is to make Promenada more exciting, adding concepts and brands that are quite new and attractive for Chiang Mai.”

Unique clothes and fashion accessories in a boutique shop at Prom.

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Tjeert Kwant and the Promenada Resort Shopping Mall