Thai retail conglomerate, Central Group announced an investment of USD 200 million into Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab), South East Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform, giving the Central Group a significant non-controlling stake in Grab’s Thai entity. Grab has diversified into a number of areas, such as food delivery and parcel delivery and describes itself as an online-to-offline mobile platform. Central Group has the largest footprint of malls, hotels and merchants in Thailand. Initial areas of collaboration between the two will include:
Food delivery: Bringing on board Central Group restaurants and food-related brands to GrabFood. This aims to expand the reach of these outlets and offer Grab customers a greater variety of food, snacks, and beverage options.
Logistics: Providing on-demand and express delivery services for Central Group businesses and partners through the GrabExpress service.
Transport: Providing customers, visitors and tourists to and from Central Group malls, stores and hotels easy access to Grab services with special privileges.
This continues the trend of physical retailers partnering with online platforms. In December 2018, Japanese retail group, Aeon, which runs 1,300 shopping centers, general merchandise stores, and convenience stores across Southeast Asia, announced a partnership with Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-Jek on digital payment and home delivery.
(Sources: Grab Holdings Inc.; Phys)