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This in-depth guide to Thailand explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.
Get up to speed on all of the latest retailer results, the insight into what is driving growth and IGD's five big trends to watch in Asia in 2019.
Berli Jucker, operator of Big C, reports revenue of THB30.9bn (US$979m), gaining THB1.6bn (US$50.5m) over the same period last year.
Berli Jucker, operator of Big C in Thailand, has announced revenue growth of 5.7% to THB 109.8 bn (US$ 3.4bn) for its modern retail business unit.
New store openings and same store sales growth of 1% supported the strong sales performance. However, profit margin slid from 16.7% to 16.5% due to sales mix changes and higher business to business sales compared to last year.
The retailer plans to open eight hypermarkets (including one overseas), one Big C Food Place and about 200 mini Big C in 2019. It has also installed solar rooftops in 32 stores and one distribution centre, expecting to save about 4% on energy cost in each site.
Big C has achieved positive same store sales growth in the last two quarters, with plans in place to maintain its growth momentum. Big C Food Place in Bang Sue is an 800 sqm supermarket focusing on fresh food, ready to eat, organic food and healthy ranges. This new format may be the model for converting some Big C Market into a more compact store in the future.
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Berli Jucker, the operator of Big C in Thailand, reports positive Q3 results and international expansion in 2019.
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.
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.
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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New wholesale deal to supply Big C chain announced.
The UK’s fourth largest retailer, Morrisons, will begin supplying its private label range of products to Big C hypermarkets. About 100 different products have been confirmed for export to the Thai retailer.
This deal is expected to boost Big C’s messaging of offering “More Than Just Low Prices” with an improved range. Although the retailer has a presence in Laos and Vietnam, it is not known whether these other stores are included in the Morrisons deal.
Big C operates multiple store formats in Thailand and is owned by the Berli Jucker Company. There are more than 200 Big C supermarkets and hypermarkets as well as more than 700 Mini Big C convenience stores in Thailand.
Find out more about the Berli Jucker Company here.
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Big C's total revenue from retail sales, rental and service income for Q1 drops to THB 28bn (USD 811mn), -14.9% over the same quarter last year. This is largely driven by a 20% decline in same store sales.
Big C has been cutting out unprofitable sales due to deep discounting via cash vouchers and bulk volumes. The focus on quality of sales has continued in Q1. While the sales trend is at a decline, it has shown a clear improvement quarter-on-quarter, especially in the non-food categories. Better category planning and a stronger assortment have helped to localise the offer and generate better sales.
Net income grew by 4.3% due to significant margin expansion and resilient rental and service income. Operating profit declined by 2.1%, but it was offset by lower effective tax rate and finance costs. Big C's gross profit margin reached 16.1% and net income margin reached 6.4% for the quarter.
Big C opened 11 new Mini Big C stores (of which 5 are franchised stores) and completed re-bannering two MM Mega Marts into Big C supercentres in the quarter. The total store count as of 31 Mar 2017 is 131 large format stores (Big C supercentre, Extra and Jumbo), 59 Big C Market, 475 Mini Big C and 142 Pure Drugstores.
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