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Japanese discount operator, Don Quijote (known as Donki) is launching its first stores in Thailand next week and in Hong Kong in July.

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Tesco Lotus has launched 45 Thai food products under the Tesco brand.

Tesco Authentic Thai range

The food products include both savoury and sweet items with top quality ingredients from Thailand. These include sweet tamarind from Phetchabun, purple sweet potatoes from Ubon Ratchathani, durian from Chanthaburi, mangoes from Prachuap Khiri Khan and coconut sugar from Samut Songkhram. The ingredients are used in traditional recipes to deliver an authentic taste and at affordable prices.

Commitment to support Thai SME

Tesco Group collaborated with the Ministry of Commerce to develop a range of authentic Thai products that is internationally accepted in terms of safety and quality. The initiative will support Thai SME to expand their reach through Tesco’s distribution network both locally and overseas.

Sompong Rungnirattisai, Tesco Lotus CEO, said, “By working closely with Thai operators, we ensure that they achieve internationally accepted safety and quality standards required by the Tesco Group. We also share know-how in terms of packaging design, branding and marketing. Through this, we help to enhance SME capabilities and give them a competitive edge to succeed not only in Thailand but also in international markets, in line with the Ministry of Commerce’s Local to Global initiative."

 

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Although Tesco delivered encouraging sales for Q3 in the UK, Asian results continue to be challenged.

LFL sales fell by 8% in Asia

Tesco reports stronger underlying performance in Asia, but sales in Thailand continue to be impacted by changes in pricing, promotions and couponing. Tesco management is restructuring its Thai business to stop bulk-selling. Government-issued welfare cards scheme also have an impact on sales, despite minor changes since it was first issued.

Profit recovery with new commercial approach

The retailer plans to accelerate its changes to its operating model in Thailand. It has been renegotiating its promotional offers, helping to reduce costs and delivering profit recovery.

Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis, commented, “In Asia, negotiations with suppliers are concluding satisfactorily and we can see this in our simpler, clearer, more impactful offer for customers.”

UK results are encouraging

Strong seasonal proposition has delivered positive LFL Christmas results with 2% sales increase in the UK. It is outperforming the market in both volume and value terms, and in all the key categories including food, clothing and general merchandise.

 

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China-based, pure ecommerce retailer JD.com has reached an agreement with Thailand government agencies to help provide Thai companies with greater access to Chinese consumers.

Three MoUs signed

JD.com has signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with three separate Thai government agencies. These include, Thailand’s International Trade Promotion Department, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

The MoUs were signed with JD Central, a joint venture between JD.com and Thailand-based Central Group. The companies are aiming to help small and medium-sized (SME’s) Thailand-based companies to expand by increasing their access to cross-border online trade. The SMEs will receive access to the Chinese market through JD’s platforms, as well as specialised training, consumer insight analytics and digital payments.

Thailand to become major ecommerce hub

Thailand hopes to expand globally and become a major ecommerce hub in ASEAN. The MoUs will help promote the Thai government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, which aims to attract new investment.

Yol Phokasub, chairman of the board of JD Central, said, “We have been launching the JD Thailand Official Flagship Store on JD.com, which allows Thai exports to sell in China and also offer innovative logistics and supply-chain solutions to the government agencies, which are keys to uplifting the country’s infrastructure”

Berli Jucker, the operator of Big C in Thailand, reports positive Q3 results and international expansion in 2019.

Q3 sales increase but profit margin decline

Big C sales reached THB 27,855M (US$ 846.7M) in Q3 2018, growing by +7.2% year on year. Gross profit margin declined from 17.7% to 16.8% due to high base, sales mix changes and continued price investments. Same store sales growth also registered a solid growth of 2.5% in the quarter.

Expansion driving top line

Big C opened two hypermarkets in Q3, contributing to its strong sales growth. It is planning a total of eight store expansions for 2019 including one located overseas. While the earnings presentation did not reveal the exact location, Mr Aswin Techajareonvikul, Berli Jucker’s CEO and President, has mentioned that “the company will open a store in Malaysia soon” during Big C's Expo in September.

Mr Aswin said, “We are interested in Malaysia because there are few retail chains and Malaysian customers are quite familiar with Big C through our stores in Hat Yai and Pattani.” This will be the company’s third business in Malaysia, after its operations in glass and snacks.

More international plans ahead

The retailer has plans to open one Big C Supercenter in Laos where it currently operates 46 M Point Mart stores. It is exploring Cambodia as well for Big C expansion. In Vietnam, it is repositioning MM Mega Market wholesale stores to hypermarkets. There are 19 MM Mega Markets and 144 B’s Marts convenience stores. It is looking for locations to open five more MM Mega Markets next year.

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