Jas As­set to run Casa Lapin cafe

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - PITSINEE JITPLEECHE­EP

Jas As­set Plc, an IT re­tail and shop­ping mall arm of SET-listed Jay Mart Group, is bol­ster­ing its re­tail busi­ness with the launch of a new sub­sidiary, Beans and Brown Co, to op­er­ate the cafe brand Casa Lapin.

Jas As­set chief ex­ec­u­tive Suphot Wanna said the com­pany started to di­ver­sify away from IT re­tail rental space four years ago. Last month, the com­pany ac­quired a food and drink busi­ness un­der the Casa Lapin trade­mark from Cof­fee Project Co, a spe­cialty cof­fee chain, for 42 mil­lion baht.

Un­der the agree­ment, Beans and Brown was set up as a joint ven­ture to man­age Casa Lapin, in which Jas As­set holds a 60% stake and Cof­fee Project has the rest.

Mr Suphot said that the com­pany is adding cof­fee busi­ness to its port­fo­lio be­cause it wants to strengthen its re­tail busi­ness, which is one among its core op­er­a­tions.

Jas As­set be­gan di­ver­si­fy­ing into mall de­vel­op­ment in 2014 and now op­er­ates com­mu­nity malls such as Jas Wanghin, Jas Ram In­tra and a shop­ping com­plex, Jas Ur­ban Sri­nakarin.

“All of the di­ver­si­fied busi­nesses, from con­do­mini­ums, shop­ping malls to cafes, helps in­crease our busi­ness strength,” Mr Suphot said.

He said that while com­pe­ti­tion in Thai­land’s cof­fee mar­ket is in­tense, the Casa Lapin brand has huge po­ten­tial to grow.

The cof­fee mar­ket in Thai­land was worth 17 bil­lion baht in 2015, ris­ing to 19 bil­lion baht in 2016.

Each year, the con­sump­tion of cof­fee in Thai­land has risen by 10%. But Thais, on av­er­age, drink fewer than two cups per day, com­pared with five cups in Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries and three cups in the US.

While there are over 40 brands of spe­cialty cof­fee avail­able in the mar­ket, most of them are not from big chains.

Su­ra­pan Tanta, the founder of Casa Lapin and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Beans and Brown, said the joint ven­ture with Jas As­set will en­able fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of Casa Lapin.

At present, Casa Lapin has seven branches in Bangkok. Three are op­er­ated by Beans and Brown Co. The other four branches are man­aged by Casa Lapin and its part­ners on a rev­enue-shar­ing ba­sis, Mr Su­ra­pan said.

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