Thailand: Big C cuts prices and lowers investment

Date : 14 October 2020

Soo-Eng Tan

Senior Retail Analyst

Big C launches a campaign to offer 10-40% discounts on 25% of essential goods at more than 1,600 Big C stores.

Prices are top of shoppers’ minds

Besides cutting prices on essential goods, the retailer will also cut prices of 14 food items on the menu at food courts by 50%. Pattaphong Iamsuro, Chief Commercial Officer of Big C Supercenter, said, "consumer spending power has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, but it has improved slightly from August". He also said that the outbreak has changed customers' shopping behaviour, with higher expectations and greater price sensitivity.

Lowered investment into 2023

Aswin Techajareonvikul, CEO of Big C hypermarkets, said investment in Big C Supercenter will be reduced from THB5bn (US$160m) a year in 2021 to 2023 from an average of THB7bn (US$224m) in previous years. Mr Aswin said Big C Food Place supermarket and Mini Big C convenience will remain two priority formats to open over the next three years. "It will be quite difficult for Thailand's economy to get back to 2019 levels, and the industry is unlikely to be active over the next few years, or in the fourth quarter this year, making it a challenging time for us," Mr Aswin said. The reduced investment is in line with projections that the economy will take three years to fully recover from the pandemic.