Established and new retailers in the market including Big C, Tesco Lotus and Berli Jucker Plc are placing increasing prominence on the role of digital operations in their strategies.
Big C announces strong full year results
Casino's subsidiary in Thailand, Big C, has announced strong full year results. Sales have grown 9.3%, reaching THB 112.1bn. Solid 5.3% growth in same store sales as well as the addition of 127 new stores across multiple formats have contributed to this result.
In a press report, Big C accounts for its excellent Q4 performance by its online developments, following the launch of its smartphone shopping app in September. This offers more than 10,000 products that can be collected in store or delivered for free in the Bangkok metropolitan area. Wider roll-out of this service to Kohn Kaen, Udon Thani, Pattaya and Chon Buri is expected, but a time-scale has yet to be announced.
Berli Jucker Plc to launch convenience operations in 2013
Berli Jucker Plc (BJP), a leading trading and manufacturing company in Thailand, is to open at least 100 convenience stores in 2013 under the fascia BJC Smart, the Bangkok Post reports. Stores will be c.70 square metres and range 8,000 SKUs; upon launch all products will be BJC branded. This move is part of the company's plan for multi-format retail expansion, though BJC will not operate hypermarkets due to fierce competition from strong players in this format.
Before official store openings BJC Smart will be launched online, offering free delivery within 24 hours, with orders capped at 1000 baht.
Tesco Lotus unveils app
Earlier this month Tesco Lotus celebrated the launch of its first interactive smartphone and social media app. This will allow the retailer to capitalise on the increasing trend of smartphone usage in the country and comes ahead of the launch of an online platform in Thailand, expected early this year.