Berli Jucker opens convenience stores

If you can’t beat them, join them.

This is what the Thai import and export company Berli Jucker has done, setting up its own convenience store chain, after losing its bids to take over French hypermarket Carrefour and Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart.

The convenience stores, to be called BJC Smart, will be officially introduced by next year with initial expansion plan of opening 100 stores.

Each store will span an estimated 70 sqm and will initiatively stock 8000 owned-brand products, with other producers’ lines to be added later.

The move will enable the company to establish a fully integrated network of manufacturing, distribution and retailing, says BJC president Aswin Techacharoenwikun.

“We’re no longer interested in taking over any retail chains. With our strength in people, IT, logistics and funding, we are now ready to develop our own chain with various formats, except for large-scale stores like hypermarkets because the competition is very fierce and all of them are strong players,” said Phidsanu Pongwatana, senior VP for BJC’s retail business.

The company will test the market by setting up an online store which will offer free delivery for orders 1000 baht and up.

Berli Jucker says it also plans to open electrical appliance and drug store chains in the future.



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