Tesco Lotus confirms expansion plans
Tesco Lotus remains committed to Thailand and will continue to invest in expanding its retail and online channels, according to a report in the Bangkok Post newspaper.
Tesco Lotus has previously announced plans to open five large stores and 50 express stores over the coming year.
But a cloud descended over the company’s future in the wake of parent Tesco UK’s financial turmoil, with talk the Thai division may be sold off to pay off debt in the UK.
However, in an interview with the Bangkok Post, CEO John Christie said Tesco will also increase investment in programs to help reduce the prices of fresh food, groceries and household items.
It would appear that any plan to liquidate Tesco’s Asian assets are at least on ice.
In its annual result announced last week Tesco said its combined Asian operations posted a profit of £565 million, down 18.4 per cent largely on falling sales in China, where the brand is being phased out. That’s considerably more than the £467 million profit in the UK and £164 million in Europe.
Christie also said Tesco Lotus has so far invested over 4 billion baht (US$30.6 million) under its Roll Back price campaign to help cut product prices, and another 600 million baht ($18.37 million)to help slash the price of fresh food.
“Tesco Lotus has made huge investments over the years to help Thais save on their cost of living. We are confident that our investment plan will strengthen our leadership in the modern retail sector, while we continue to work with Thai suppliers and business partners to grow together with us and help Thai people cut the cost of living,” Christie said.
“Thailand is a strategic market for the Tesco Group. Growth opportunities here remain promising and we will continue to invest to grow our business”.