We're used to hearing about the global growth and expansion of Nintendo, but its business operations in Southeast Asia have been cut back in recent times.
According to the video game giant's website, both of its official stores in Thailand have been closed. The JD Central store only opened its doors in December 2021. Here's a short statement attached to both closures (via Nintendo.com):
"This store has been closed. Thank you for always using the service Nintendo Official Store Thailand."
One store was operating under the retailer JD Central and the other Lazada. JD's Thailand subsidiary is actually closing its doors, which appears to be the reason behind the JD Central store closure. JD was also partly responsible for the operation of Nintendo's official repair services site in the country (a joint venture with WeJoin).
Official Nintendo products will still be available online from Maxsoft and Jaymart.
If we hear any other developments, we'll let you know.
[source nintendo.com, via nintendosoup.com]
later this month more Nintendo stores are getting closed down
I've seen official Sony stores in Thailand, there should be a market big enough for it.
That’s so odd? Thailand seems like it would have a really large tech market from what I could tell when I went to Bangkok a few years ago.
Well, that’s super disappointing. I live in Indonesia, but there isn’t any sort of Nintendo store here. I’m going on a trip to Thailand in August, and I was really looking forward to visiting the store. I guess I’ll have to go to Japan.😂
They need to make space for the Nintendo Saudi Arabia store.
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Hello from Thailand. Wow, as a huge Nintendo fan living in Bangkok and active in the local gaming scene I have to admit I hadn't even heard of this store. And JD central totally sucks of course. PLEASE NOTE: these were just accounts on random Thai e-commerce platforms, NOT physical Nintendo stores.
Nintendo hardware in Thailand has always been import hardware only (usually from Maxsoft in Singapore) and if anything breaks you have to go to some hobbyist repair shop and hope for the best.
I'm not surprised this didn't succeed though, Thai gamers are predominantly Playstation users (as well as Steam and mobile games / eSports / free to play crap) and traditionally in the past, nobody in Thailand would even buy original games as they were just too pricey and pirated games were the norm.
That has changed since it's gotten more difficult to pirate games but outside of the Playstation 4 and 5 (which is still very hard to find) there just don't seem to be enough people interested in Nintendo.
In Thailand, Nintendo also carries the stigma of being for young children only.
This store was already dead on arrival I'm afraid.
Hello from Bangkok. These stores have been so poorly marketed. I had absolutely no idea they were even there. There doesn't seem to be much of a market for Nintendo products here anyway. Most people are mobile gamers, and Sony seems to have about 90% of the console market.
@DJP- yup, no marketing whatsoever and even us Hardcore Thai Nintendo fans haven't heard of this store.
I initially even thought this news was simply false as I thought there was no way there'd ever be an official Nintendo store here what with there being almost no demand for Nintendo products in the first place....
Additionally, having accounts on some random Thai e-commerce platforms selling Nintendo products barely counts as an "official store" in my book anyway, all these articles make it sound like there were actual physical stores that have now disappeared.
I thought there were only official stores in Japan and New York, why would there be two in Thailand? None in Europe, one in the US, two in their home country, and two in…Thailand?
@tektite_captain these articles are referring to online stores so these news are kind of misleading.
Similar to Amazon marketplace sellers basically.
Plus nobody here in Thailand even seems to even have heard about these "official stores" as there are literally hundreds of import game shops that have every system (including the Switch) to begin with.
If their customer service is even a fraction of how bad the customer service is on the online store in the UK, then it wouldn't surprise me that it's been shut down. The customer support team at the UK store is so rude and unhelpful and they like to blame the customer for problems caused by a courier.
I think there is still a store in Tel Aviv too? A physical nintendo store.
Good to see our Thai friends here!! Hope to play Bangkok Mario Kart 8 tracks with you tomorrow night haha
@KuriboBangkok ah that (no brick store) explains why even the original announcement didn't say 'in bangkok'... I was in bangkok in November, so I there was a start I would have loved to visit it...
@romanista yeah, these "Nintendo Thailand Store closing" News, while phrased very vague to begin with, definitely should have done a better job communicating this whole story.
To summarize this again, while there have always been loads and loads of game stores all over Bangkok that also sell imported Nintendo Switch Consoles, Accessories and Games (or to be precise, for the most part, Nintendo products originally imported by Maxsoft in Singapore and then distributed to Thailand), about a year or so ago, unbeknownst to most Thai Gamers, Nintendo South East Asia apparently decided to go official in Thailand for the first time ever.
But all they did was offer Nintendo products online on JD Central, an e-commerce website and app that never stood a chance against its rivals shopee and Lazada.
There has never been a physical store.
It's sort of like this: Imagine there's Amazon and then this new Nintendo webstore would've been one of its new marketplace online only sellers that nobody even knew or cared about (+ in the case of Thailand, it was on one of the less popular sites).
The only significant fact of this whole affair is that there was some sort of official Nintendo presence behind this and not third party sellers, for a change.
But ultimately it's barely worth any news since all we're talking about here is online stores on dying e-commerce websites that apparently happened to be run by Nintendo themselves (which is certainly interesting).
For us Thai Gamers it basically would've made almost no difference, at the end of the day, because you can easily buy Nintendo products in Thailand anyway, except for one thing:
Potentially having an official repair service.
I've googled a bit and to my surprise actually found an address for a Nintendo repair center in Bangkok which apparently opened around the same time they started selling on JD Central. I wonder how long that center will exist though, probably it's about to be shut down.
Anyways, it would've been cool to actually have a real physical Nintendo Thailand Store.
Until then, I'll keep visiting the one in Tokyo.
@KuriboBangkok "more difficult to pirate games"
Um, might want to look into FitGirl.
@KuriboBangkok So just like Italy,same situation.Except my country never even had a Nintendo store.
@zgillet yeah, it's still all doable and all but compared to say 15-20 years ago, when every console in South East Asia came with an easy to install mod chip pre-installed and games were all pirated versions, times have changed a lot. And I'm glad about that
While we're already on this topic - look what I found
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