PHUKET: After years of delay, Bangkok-based construction materials retailer Boonthavorn is moving forward with its plans to enter the Phuket market with the opening of a “mini-showroom”.

The new facility will be located between Songkhla and Yaowarat roads, near the Tesco-Lotus junction in Rassada.

Speaking to the Gazette at the project site, Boonthavorn architect Jiravut Kararun said the company is currently renovating two rows of shophouses, which will become a “mini-showroom” for ceramics and bathroom fixtures.

Work began about two weeks ago; the new outlet is scheduled to open for business on October 1, he said.

However, the company has no immediate plans to develop the large, adjacent plot on the bypass road that it acquired several years ago with the intention of building a new shopping mall, he said.

Boonthavorn, which opened its first store in Bangkok 30 years ago, operates five major branches in greater Bangkok and one in Pattaya.

Plans for a massive nationwide expansion announced in 2008 were held up the following year and the flooding in 2011 also affected the company’s operations.

The company’s business in Phuket will face stiff competition from rival retailers like HomePro, HomeWorks, Kee Hin and others located along the bypass road.

— Stephen Fein