THAI SILK REINVENTS ITSELF
Brand eyes move to hotels, homeware
Bangkok Post Public Company Limited
The Thai Silk Co, the operator of Jim Thompson, is evolving from a silk-focused enterprise into an iconic lifestyle firm. The Thai Silk Co, the operator of the Jim Thompson brand, is undergoing a transformation from a silk-focused enterprise to a pioneering iconic lifestyle company, with plans to diversify into the hotel and homeware sectors over the next 3-5 years. Jim Thompson yesterday announced the grand opening of the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter, marking a milestone in establishing its presence as Asia’s first iconic global lifestyle brand. Frank Cancelloni, Jim Thompson’s group chief executive, said the official opening of the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter serves as a beacon for the firm’s strategy to become Asia’s first iconic global lifestyle brand. It seamlessly blends the original Jim Thompson House Museum with exciting new attractions, all conveniently located near the vibrant Jim Thompson Art Center. These additions include the Museum About the Man, a dedicated exhibition honouring the brand’s founder; The Evolving World of Jim Thompson Textiles, a permanent exhibition; the modern The Iconic Store; and an expansive hospitality complex centred around Jim Thompson, A Thai Restaurant. Complementing the restaurant are The O.S.S. Bar, The O.S.S. Room for afternoon tea, Jim’s Terrace for tapas and Silk Café for casual dining, and the Moonlight Hall — a multipurpose event space. The Heritage Quarter is designed to serve both local and international visitors, reinforcing Jim Thompson’s status as a prominent feature in Thailand’s prime tourism destinations. In addition to the Jim Thompson Heritage Quarter, the company plans to develop the Jim Thompson hotel with potential partners. The Jim Thompson business now covers a network of retail stores, home furnishing showrooms, distributors and restaurants. It plans to allocate 100-150 million baht to expand its fashion, restaurant, home furnishings and Maison Jim Thompson — the brand’s new business — within the next 3-5 years. In the realm of the fashion retail business, Jim Thompson is set to join forces with King Power to open new outlets at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok and downtown Phuket. Moreover, there are plans to introduce a new 500-squaremetre duplex lifestyle store at the One Bangkok project. Currently, Jim Thompson operates 25 stores nationwide, featuring readyto-wear, scarves, bags and accessories among its top product categories. According to Mr Cancelloni, the company is committed to further extending its reach in the hospitality sector. Initiatives include the establishment of Jim’s Terrace, a café located at One Bangkok, and the regional expansion of Jim Thompson, a Thai Restaurant, in collaboration with The O.S.S. Bar. Additionally, the company envisions expanding its home furnishing products into Asia and the Middle East. Jim Thompson’s home furnishing line encompasses a unique and comprehensive array of textiles, technical performance fabrics, wallcoverings, trimmings and furniture for high-end residential and international hospitality projects. Notable clients include prestigious establishments such as Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Siam, Four Seasons in Bangkok, Cheval Blanc Paris, Park Hyatt Vendôme Paris, The Savoy London, Capella Singapore and One & Only Mandarina — Mexico. The brand has showrooms in key cities such as Bangkok, London, Atlanta, New York and Paris, with a distribution network spanning over 60 countries. According to Mr Cancelloni, the company will introduce “Maison Jim Thompson” as a homeware category in 2026. Additionally, it will produce a television mini-series inspired by the life of Jim Thompson and unveil a concept store bearing his name. Currently, Jim Thompson operates three factories in Thailand, in Bangkok, Phayao and Nakhon Ratchasima. The Jim Thompson House Museum, a popular tourist destination, attracts over 320,000 visitors a year, with the top five nationalities being Americans, French, Japanese, Chinese and Koreans.