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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        12  May 2011

Retail war starts in Thailand

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New signs from the country’s two biggest hypermarket operators have begun appearing simultaneously in Bangkok this week as competition between Big C and Tesco Lotus intensifies. Tesco introduced its new look on Rama IV Road and Big C at the former Carrefour Lat Phrao outlet.

The hypermarket giants both adding the word 'extra' to their signs marks the second round in the battle between the UK-based Tesco Group and Casino, the French retailer that took over 42 Carrefour stores late last year.

Both hypermarket players plan to pioneer their Extra concept stores in Thailand. A representative of Tesco Lotus's Rama IV branch said it would be fully relaunched as Tesco Lotus Extra in the coming months.

It will be the first major facelift for the store in more than a decade of service. After the renovation, it will be positioned more as a premium outlet with extended space.

The company chose the Rama IV outlet because it was an original prototype store in Thailand. Tesco Lotus Rama IV competes head-on with Carrefour just across the road.

The area - packed with foreign expats, foreign tourists and luxurious condominium projects - has high purchasing power, and this branch is one of the company's best performers.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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