The famous American brand Playboy, best known for it’s raunchy mens magazines featuring scantily clad models known as Playboy “Bunnies”, has opened the first branded Playboy Cafe in Asia in Bangkok.
Lam Yook Millenium Millennium (2002), the distributor of Playboy clothing in Thailand, has opened the first Playboy Cafe in the Central Festival EastVille complex in Bangkok, with a second cafe scheduled to open in Central Marina Pattaya next month.
A budget of B30 million (US$856,000) has been earmarked for the opening of about 30 Playboy Cafes across Thailand within five years.
Flying in from the US to preside over the opening, Playboy heir/chief creative officer Cooper Hefner says about 3000 Playboy outlets sell fashion accessories and clothes in such markets as China, India and Taiwan.
She says Lam Yook has been with Playboy for more than 15 years in Thailand. It is the first company in Asia to gain a licence to run a Playboy Cafe.
Lam Yook COO Pornpat Wangworawong says his company outlined its plans last year after setting up Playboy outlets in five department stores in Thailand.
It plans to open a Playboy outlet at Central Plaza Korat this year and is introducing a business line to mark the Year of the Rooster. A Thai website will be launched in June.
“Before opening the cafe, we ran a market survey and learned that Thais like hanging out with friends and eating,” says Pornpat. Playboy Cafe’s signature item is the Bunny Burger.
Covering 158sqm in Central Festival EastVille, the cafe has capacity for 70 customers.
Sales of the brand in Thailand have risen 30 per cent on average over the past few years, but last year’s growth was only 10 to 15 per cent because the global slowdown affecting the garment industry.
To counteract this, the company plans to renovate its standalone shops and turn the outlets in department stores into unisex models.