Japanese retailer Aeon is planning to increase its supermarket network in Thailand to 500 outlets by 2020.
But this year it has scaled back its expansion plans due to what it considers to be a subdued retail market.
Aeon currently has 76 supermarkets in Thailand most trading under the MaxValu brand, shops which are larger than convenience stores but smaller than full scale supermarkets. Many trade 24 hours.
The company had planned to open 30 new stores this year but now says it will open just 15 new ones. Next year will see 40 new stores, and then 100 each year through to 2020. About 80 per cent will be MaxValu stores, the rest full sized supermarkets.
GM Keiji Ono told the Bangkok Post that Aeon would invest up to 400 million baht (US$12.3 million) on upgrading existing stores and opening new ones.
“We will penetrate the market in provinces in the Northeast such as Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani in order to exploit the expected economic boom from the coming regional pact of the Asean Economic Community,” he said.
New MaxValu stores will soon open in Laem Chabang and Pattaya.