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Pantip Plaza - almost empty


OneMoreFarang

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Many years ago I was all the time in Pantip Plaza and it was always crowded.

And they someone had the great idea to renovate it and make is something more expensive. And it failed entirely.

Today I was the first time there since years and I was shocked how empty it was.

A lot of space was just empty, many shops were closed and didn't look like they will ever open again.

And a few shops had the lights on but no customers.

Somehow I can't imagine that place will continue to exist for long...

 

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Pantip was great when I first visited Thailand. However I stopped using Pantip perhaps 10 years ago and went to Fortune mall instead. 

 

Reasons were mainly sellers who wished to pump up the prices as well as multiple VCD touts at the time. Pantip became a tourist attraction with some selection of overpriced electronics.. 

 

I'm going to miss the original Pantip, but not what it became. 

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These days it's FortuneTown instead...

 

Re Pantip, perhaps it's a case of Thai style redevelopment. They took a busy, apparently successful business location and killed it. So now, perhaps, it's more available for someone to come in and eventually build a new hotel or condo or something else with bigger money potential.

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It flourished because for it's time, it had the perfect combination of the latest new gear, lots of gadgets, any CD/DVD anybody could want and the two top floors more an electronics flea market than anything else.

In those days, if you needed a memory stick, or a replacement floppy or hard drive you couldn't go online and get it several days later as you can now...you went to Pantip and walked around reading all the hanging, hand lettered signs detailing the memory sticks and other components available.   The internet was still new and decent internet connections, like a whopping 256K down were tough to come by.  Many of us bought used desktops there and juiced them up ourselves with parts found digging through the piles of parts on the upper floors.  I remember finding a power supply for B150 and being totally amazed when it actually worked. 

On top of everything else, Pantip had an A&W Root Beer shop as well.

It was kind of on the way out already when the renovation came about.  It was never easy to get to, or get away from. It was a dump and the aggressive touts always annoying.  New malls were opening all around the place and the big sellers, Canon, HP, Acer. ect. started looking to Power Buy and other mall stores for their marketing promotions. 

Most of us discovered Fortune with clean aisles, marked prices and no touts, along with an MRT station below.  The renovation inevitably brought higher rents so the upstairs guys packed their junk and headed for who knows where.

I keep thinking I should go back to Pantip and check it out but it always seems to far to go for too little. All good things come to an end.

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I personally avoid any place that doesn't have marked prices like the plague.. cause I know they just quote prices out of their ass and I don't like haggling.

I have been to Pantip recently and yes it was quite empty. likely to be quite fully deserted soon also.

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Aside from Fortune Town, which is much closer to an MRT stop, I spend most of my IT money online.  I have saved countless hours of riding the BTS and MRT and scrounging around and haggling in Pantip and Fortune Town looking for a competitive price on mostly commodity items.  

 

I haven't been to Pantip in a few years- really since the renovation after which it never did seem to recover.  I went a few times at monthly intervals and the trajectory of the recovery indicated it probably wasn't ever coming back.  A lot of the shops moved a couple of blocks away, though I never visited that building.

 

Even then, the Pantip porn hawkers were as irritating and unsavory as ever.  They alone were a good reason to avoid the place like a case of herpes.

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Well, I still go there but I admit it has changed.  I think it is a little like Mark Twain who famously said: "Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated."  Yes there are a lot of empty shops but there always were.  The internet, Lazada and  the Chinese biggies are the big winners lately.  Traffic is a Bitch and neither BTS or MRT are very convenient to Pantip.   I have been there a number of times this year and never seen it like you did today.  They do not spring off their tails and all open at 10am and neither do MBK.  If you go too early to either places they are both a bit depressing.  The one that scared the hell out of me is Palladium.  I went there once a few months ago when Pantip was too busy to get served and on some floors at Palladium there were no customer and even floors with no shops.  But Escalators serving totally empty floors.  They have to be kidding.  Pantip still has places selling junk stuff you can rat through and guys who repair (nearly) anything but the repair business (except phone screens) seems to be dying.   It is the same in my home country.  A shop chain that used to make its living from electronic bits & pieces found new stuff too cheap and lots of things not easy to get inside and repair.   And the cycle for new models of everything is under 12 months and prices drop every year on nearly everything  except top flagship Smart phones.  So the electronic parts place became a big box seller and employed idiots who knew nothing  because they were cheaper than electronic specialists who had no customers requiring their services because all the parts went to the tip.

 

Pantip is caught between the same rocks and hard places.  It will be around for a while at most times way better than you saw today but tne writing is on the wall.    Met a few idiots the other week who knew nothing.  Imagine, multiple people in an electronic mall who did not even know what a Ni Cad battery was, had never even  heard the term.  I wanted a few sub C cells to rejuvinate a loved power tool..  The electronic chain in my home country is now bankrupt and  yesterday I bought a new 18 volt L-ion Makita.   In my local village shop here, and cheaper than on Lazada.  Go figure!

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9 hours ago, The Deerhunter said:

 I have been there a number of times this year and never seen it like you did today.  They do not spring off their tails and all open at 10am and neither do MBK.  If you go too early to either places they are both a bit depressing.

I made those pictures yesterday about 4pm...

I had to go there because I wanted to visit a server specialist shop (COMP-WARE) which is since forever in Pantip. It's still there on the 3rd floor, still with the same guy who is probably 70 by now. I asked him if he plans to stay in Pantip or move and he told me he will stay.

 

Fortune seems to be full of computer shops with reasonable prices. I guess Pantip still could be like that if they would have asked for reasonable rents years ago. Many years ago I became friendly with the owner of one Pantip shop which I visited all the time. He told me that Pantip increased the rent again and again. And at the same time many shops sold items for little to no margin just to get cash ASAP. These shops didn't survive but they dragged everybody else down with them.

 

Let's look what will happen but I am 99% sure the days of the IT center Pantip are over.

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2 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I made those pictures yesterday about 4pm...

I had to go there because I wanted to visit a server specialist shop (COMP-WARE) which is since forever in Pantip. It's still there on the 3rd floor, still with the same guy who is probably 70 by now. I asked him if he plans to stay in Pantip or move and he told me he will stay.

 

Fortune seems to be full of computer shops with reasonable prices. I guess Pantip still could be like that if they would have asked for reasonable rents years ago. Many years ago I became friendly with the owner of one Pantip shop which I visited all the time. He told me that Pantip increased the rent again and again. And at the same time many shops sold items for little to no margin just to get cash ASAP. These shops didn't survive but they dragged everybody else down with them.

 

Let's look what will happen but I am 99% sure the days of the IT center Pantip are over.

 

2 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

I made those pictures yesterday about 4pm...

I had to go there because I wanted to visit a server specialist shop (COMP-WARE) which is since forever in Pantip. It's still there on the 3rd floor, still with the same guy who is probably 70 by now. I asked him if he plans to stay in Pantip or move and he told me he will stay.

 

Fortune seems to be full of computer shops with reasonable prices. I guess Pantip still could be like that if they would have asked for reasonable rents years ago. Many years ago I became friendly with the owner of one Pantip shop which I visited all the time. He told me that Pantip increased the rent again and again. And at the same time many shops sold items for little to no margin just to get cash ASAP. These shops didn't survive but they dragged everybody else down with them.

 

Let's look what will happen but I am 99% sure the days of the IT center Pantip are over.

When they started the most recent refurb 2-3 years ago, this forum was awash with posts of "Pantip is closing:"   Equally divided between the "good riddance" brigade and the "what a pity" tribe which probably includes me.  I hate MBK.  I get lost there and can never find a shop I went to a month before. At least Pantip is logically laid out.

The DVD (or VCD as one poster called them) touts are now almost invisible and the stalls selling only pirated software have gone.  That will have left a number of empty spaces to fill with new stall holders in a changing and declining envoironment.   Rents are probably too high but there are other factors like (1)  internet sales, (2) the industry change to non-repairable electronics and (3) no BTS or MRP close to the mall.  It is a pattern developing world wide.  Long term it will go the way the rest of the world is going.  It really surprises me that your photos were taken at 4pm.   I have been there a number of times over the last year and it was never like that.  Mr DIY is in there now.  He will drag in some foot traffic.  They do huge promotion sales and host gaming competitions and other events in the big ground floor area which drag in foot traffic.  As I said, the writing is on the wall;  but I predict it will carry on / possibly limp on, for some years.  Time will tell.

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Having lived about 1 km up Petchaburi Rd from Panthip, it makes perfect sense to me that people would prefer the other tech malls if for no other reason than the traffic, especially weekdays 4-7pm (dunno about early mornings).  Even though it is technically "around the block" from Skytrain that is one very big block, including several large malls, a royal residence, the Pakistan Embassy, a temple and a khlong. 

Yes, the top 2 floors was what it was all about, the rest was just sight seeing.  It was funny how stuff on the first floor cost 3x more than up top, for the very same items. Remembering the '00s, every year I'd go there and spend 3,000b on a new external hard drive, double the capacity of the previous one; wow, 100Gb!  Usually went to the same shop. 

There was shrewd bargaining, of course, but never got sold a pig in a poke there.  But one time I bought some rechargeable batteries from a street vendor in Pahurat that were not batteries.

 

Maybe the plan is to make the place into a sort of up-market attraction, maybe lure in the shoppers from the fashion malls.  There used to be a multi-floor mall for high-end audio equipment near there (behind the Big C).  Was there a few times and was always practically empty of customers, it closed a few years back.  Will that be the future of the Panthip?

 

 

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I loved pantip, but currently you can get everything on the internet and no haggling about prices and its easier to keep your bills if you ever need to return something.

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About online or offline shopping:

In principle I like offline shopping. I see the parts, can look at different parts, compare.

And when I buy it I have it right away. In case it doesn't work I can go back to the shop, maybe within hours, and get a replacement.

All this takes online a lot longer and sometimes it's difficult to get replacements.

I would still go to Pantip if it still would be full of shops and the newest parts.

Yesterday I went there because I could order a special part online from an unknown seller or buy it in Pantip from a shop I know since many years. I opted for the Pantip shop. In case that part does not work there is a lot less hassle.

I ride a motorcycle so I don't really care about traffic and parking - that is no problem for me.

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19 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

About online or offline shopping:

In principle I like offline shopping. I see the parts, can look at different parts, compare.

And when I buy it I have it right away. In case it doesn't work I can go back to the shop, maybe within hours, and get a replacement.

All this takes online a lot longer and sometimes it's difficult to get replacements.

I would still go to Pantip if it still would be full of shops and the newest parts.

Yesterday I went there because I could order a special part online from an unknown seller or buy it in Pantip from a shop I know since many years. I opted for the Pantip shop. In case that part does not work there is a lot less hassle.

I ride a motorcycle so I don't really care about traffic and parking - that is no problem for me.

Normally i just look at the internet for reviews on motherboards and other parts I want to buy.  So that way I know what is good and not. I normally buy with invade IT not the best prices but in general good if something has to be changed.

 

Thing is i loved doing what you did and what i did going to shops buying the stuff. But there were so many and unlike electronic bills you got hand written bills and you might not find the shop again if you had to change something. Pantip was real busy. But I always loved going there.

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Plantip was a great shopping centre from which to buy CDs/DVDs years ago. Do they even make CDs/DVDs anymore? Do many people buy CDs/DVDs anymore? May help explain why the joint is near empty now. 

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On 8/24/2018 at 11:18 AM, WorriedNoodle said:

It's all Lazada or downloading online these days. The guys selling CDs from behind the corner a thing of the past.

 

I think the guys selling CD's are going to be the last hawkers to survive the online rush.   Lazada (and others) don't allow porn or pirated software.  I'm not sure they'll survive the increased IP enforcement, but I don't think that's going to get serious in my lifetime in LOS.

 

On an aside, I am gobsmacked by the quantity, the content, and the in-your-face front covers of the porn hawkers, especially in Chinatown around Khlong Thom.  I can't imagine taking your kids to the market in that area, and explaining what those 2 naked guys are doing with that dog.

 

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On 8/23/2018 at 8:58 PM, kekalot said:

I personally avoid any place that doesn't have marked prices like the plague.. cause I know they just quote prices out of their ass and I don't like haggling.

I have been to Pantip recently and yes it was quite empty. likely to be quite fully deserted soon also.

I was quoted a marked price for a Panasonic Lumix camera of 17,000 at Central World, Rachaprasong. Bought the exact same camera Pantip's AV Center for 13,900. I just took it on a warranty repair because I accidentally killed it it (another story).

 

At a 3,000 baht lesser quote I didn't haggle at the AV Center and knew better than to try to haggle at too upscale (for me) Central. IMHO, bargains are where one finds them, marked price or not.

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2 hours ago, LALes said:

When was the last time you bought a bootleg DVD?

I never ever bought one of those illegal things.

I only bough the covers and boxes which they (legally) showed in Pantip.

But somehow when I went home there was also a silver disc in that bag. ?

 

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21 minutes ago, MaxYakov said:

I was quoted a marked price for a Panasonic Lumix camera of 17,000 at Central World, Rachaprasong. Bought the exact same camera Pantip's AV Center for 13,900. I just took it on a warranty repair because I accidentally killed it it (another story).

 

At a 3,000 baht lesser quote I didn't haggle at the AV Center and knew better than to try to haggle at too upscale (for me) Central. IMHO, bargains are where one finds them, marked price or not.

 

you need to know what something is worth firsthand then.

you see the Panasonic Lumix, use your phone to look up the price online then see that it's worth like 15,000 (or even lower) then walk away from Central World.

even better if you know already what you want and what its worth..

 

I had a laugh in the Mall Bang Kapi when I was looking at some Nintendo Switch in there but the price was already over Lazada, they had this bundle with one game that was like 1000 baht more than if you bought the system and the game separate (in the same shop)

I asked the guy and he just shrugged.

 

point is, 90% of the time you can get the things you are looking for cheaper online because they have no overhead, no renting an overpriced spot in some fancy mall

this is exactly why those places are going out of business.. camera shops have a hundred older models that really most people do not want. they will never discount them because they paid 10,000 baht for it they want 10,500

but why would you buy this camera at this shop for 10,500 if you could get it online for 5000? there's a reason why this old camera is there and will still be there in 5 years.

 

 

 

 

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Yes Panthip has seen better days.

My guess is they will raze it to the ground and build an apartment small units 35+ sqm there.

The building is old and rat infested. Shopping centers are galore in Pratunam area so I don't think they would take the risk.

Phayathai has seen lots of residential real estate development in recent years.

Even Ratchathevi is having new apartment blocks. Small unit developments are now the choice of developers.

23 hours ago, colinneil said:

If police are now saying the girl made a complaint but only of theft, not rape, suggests to me that the police captain is a liar.

In my few dealings here with the police never once has anyone of them told the truth.

It is ok showing the police report, as the policeman taking the report could write anything on it get the girl to sign it, and she would have no idea of what she signed, as the report would only be in Thai.

 

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38 minutes ago, africasiaeuro said:

Yes Panthip has seen better days.

My guess is they will raze it to the ground and build an apartment small units 35+ sqm there.

The building is old and rat infested. Shopping centers are galore in Pratunam area so I don't think they would take the risk.

Phayathai has seen lots of residential real estate development in recent years.

Even Ratchathevi is having new apartment blocks. Small unit developments are now the choice of developers.

 

Maybe i am going senile, but for the life of me i am lost, can somebody explain what the hell my post has got to do with Panthip Plaza???????????????????????

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2 hours ago, impulse said:

I can't imagine taking your kids to the market in that area, and explaining what those 2 naked guys are doing with that dog.

Simple explanation  they are the real "dog lovers"

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1 hour ago, johng said:

Simple explanation  they are the real "dog lovers"

I almost wrote a similar comment. But then I thought again and decided it must not be easy for a parent in that situation. And probably it's best if the kid asks and not just keeps it in mind...

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