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Tops Thailand parent plans aggressive expansion

Tops Thailand parent Central Food Retail has committed Bt6.5 billion (US$183 million) to open new stores during the next five years.

At a function marking the Central Group’s supermarket subsidiary’s 20th anniversary this week, president Alistair Taylor said the company plans to add about 70 new stores annually to reach 600 by the end of 2021. It currently has 205.

“For this year alone, we plan to allocate between Bt1.2 billion and Bt1.3 billion of investment capital in two areas,” he said.

“Between Bt200 million and Bt300 million will be spent on a system to support our growth. Another Bt600 million will be spent on new stores, and between Bt400 million and Bt500 million on renovations of our existing supermarkets.”

Central Food Retail operates 85 Tops Market stores, 51 Tops Daily and seven Central Food Hall stores, among other formats.

The focus of the expansion plan will be rolling out new Tops Daily and Tops Market stores.

Taylor says the plan will help the company maintain average growth of 10-15 per cent.

Central Food Retail is also considering opportunities outside Thailand.

“There are also many opportunities we have seen in neighbouring countries. However, there is no fixed plan decided by the company at this moment.”

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