Jim Thompson aims to become the first global lifestyle brand in Asia

The brand is expanding its line of home decor products and introducing a mini-series to narrate the story of the brand’s founder to a global audience.

The Nation

The Nation



Portrait of CEO Frank Cancelloni. PHOTO: THE NATION

November 24, 2023

BANGKOK – Frank Cancelloni, the CEO of the Thai Silk Company Limited, the brand’s parent company, says that the company’s main goal is to make Jim Thompson an iconic global lifestyle brand, the first of its kind in Asia.

The company has laid out a strategy to push this mission on various fronts, particularly through the transformation of the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter into a kingdom that encompasses a complete lifestyle, including fashion, clothing, restaurants and beverages, home decor, and culture, making it a destination of choice for both Thai and international tourists.

The transformation of the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter has also translated into notable financial success, with profits increasing by 45% in the past 10 months alone.

Adapting the products to make them more contemporary has already widened the target client base, especially among Thai consumers.

Market research indicates that 91% of the surveyed individuals are familiar with the brand, and an impressive 99% have a favourable opinion of it.

The fashion business group will continue its strategy of opening new stores in 2024 in collaboration with its partner, King Power.

New outlets are planned at both Don Mueang Airport and Phuket Airport.

Additionally, there are plans to integrate with the One Bangkok project by opening a large-scale duplex lifestyle store spread over 500 square metres to accommodate clothing and a Jim’s Terrace restaurant.

In addition, the company will refurbish the Jim Thompson flagship store in Suriwong, transforming it into a flagship destination with the addition of a restaurant and café, and collaborating with various fashion designers for events and activities.

This makeover is expected to be completed by the end of 2025 and aims to attract tourists to the revamped and enhanced establishment.

There are currently 25 lifestyle product retail stores and the plan is to expand this number to 30-35.

At the same time, the company plans to expand its market internationally through online channels.

This includes developing websites tailored to local markets and establishing warehouses to facilitate delivery to consumers within 24 hours.

The target markets for this expansion include Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

In the fabric decorating product business, there is a growing focus on expanding into international markets, particularly in the Central and East Asian regions, due to high business potential.

The investment will primarily target the relaxation and hospitality sector, especially hotels, with Singapore chosen for initial market penetration.

The key strengths of Jim Thompson’s decor products include fabric-wall decorations or wallpapers, and furniture fabrics for sofas and various cushions.

The business strategy emphasises catering to the business-to-business (B2B) market, with approximately 35% of world-renowned hotels listed among the “World’s 50 Best Hotels” choosing to use Jim Thompson’s fabric decorating products.

Examples include The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Siam, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, Cheval Blanc Paris, Park Hyatt Vendôme Paris, The Savoy London and Park Hyatt Milan, among others.

“Jim Thompson has showrooms for home decor products in Bangkok, London, Atlanta, New York and Paris.

Meanwhile, the distribution network spans more than 60 countries worldwide,” Chancellor said.

In Bangkok, Jim Thompson restaurants have joined up with the OSS Bar and this model is to be expanded to international markets, with a specific focus on Asia, including Japan.

With normal life having resumed following the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant closure of overseas branches, the company is planning to invest between 100-150 million baht to implement this expansion plan.

In addition, the company has plans for the next 3-5 years to further develop its existing business and expand into the hospitality industry by transforming the Jim Thompson brand into hotels and resorts, focusing on boutique hotels.

The company’s business model for this expansion involves partnering with external investors rather than investing directly.

The planned establishments will operate under globally recognised brands, such as Armani.

Additionally, the company aims to penetrate the home decor market under the brand Maison Jim Thompson.

The strategy to elevate brand awareness to a global level involves assembling a creative team in Hollywood to produce a mini-series portraying the life of James Harrison Wilson Thompson, the founder of the Jim Thompson brand.

Thompson, an architect from New York who was once a military officer in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and is now associated with the CIA, played a significant role in promoting Thai silk internationally and is often referred to as the “King of Thai Silk”.

“We are currently collaborating with the Hollywood team to write a storyboard and actively seeking partnerships with production companies or streaming platforms as investors.

The series will consist of 10 episodes, each approximately 50 minutes long.

We anticipate that the project will come to fruition in 2024,” Chancellor said.

For the overall growth outlook in 2023, the profit is expected to surpass the cumulative profits from 2020 to 2022, marking a turnaround from the losses incurred during the impact of the pandemic.

“The growth in profit is more crucial than revenue. This year, our profit is projected to exceed the combined profit of the past 3 years, namely from 2020 to 2022.

In the last two months, the market trend has shown significant momentum. As for the plans for the upcoming year, we aim to create a brand value of 100 million dollars,” Chancellor said.

scroll to top