Retail in Asia

In Markets

Tesco to open 750 new stores in Thailand


British supermarket Tesco plans to roll out 750 new stores in Thailand in the short-to-medium term, as it ramps up its investment in Asia, as part of its multi-year turnaround plan.

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The largest retailer in the UK, Tesco’s Thailand arm – Tesco Lotus – will open the convenience store-style locations, taking the local store to more than 2,000. There are currently 1,583 Tesco stores in Thailand.

Tesco has been focusing on Asian investment, targeting the Chinese and South Korean markets, as competition in the UK supermarket segment intensifies. Tesco outlined the new Thailand store expansion during the group’s Capital Markets Day presentation to analysts and investors.

Marking its 100th birthday, Tesco said it was looking at “untapped value opportunities,” under the leadership of CEO, Dave Lewis.

Looking ahead, Tesco is working to achieve efficiency savings and grow revenue. This includes optimizing space, reducing costs and growing profitable categories in its larger
stores, while tailoring its offer more in smaller stores.

Tesco reported a first-quarter sales growth slowdown, but continues to outperform the UK supermarket competition, it said. Thais are switching from traditional markets to hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores as the country develops.

The Krungsri Bank’s industry outlook of the modern trade channel noted that there are a total of more than 15,300 convenience stores in Thailand.

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This channel includes large-scale players such as 7-Eleven (10,268 outlets) and FamilyMart (1,138), and other brands like Mini Big C, Lawson 108, Tesco Express and newcomer SPAR.