CJ Express reformulating store format

CJ Express Group is reinventing its low-priced convenience-store format as competition heats up in Thailand’s grocery market.

In a direct challenge to 7-Eleven, CJ Shop will stock its shelves with low-cost in-house brands, reports The Bangkok Post.

CJ Express is also talking with several e-commerce leaders to offer services such as allowing customers to pick up or drop off packages at 280 CJ shops.

Founded four years ago, CJ Express is mostly funded by Carabao Group founder/chief executive Sathien Setthasit, who says he plans to list the firm on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2020. By that time, he says, the company aims to have 600 shops with a net profit of THB1 billion (US$31.9 million) on THB20 billion revenue.

The company expects to have THB12 billion in revenue this year, up from THB9 billion last year. Net profit last year was THB200 million.

Sathien says producing in-house brands is core to CJ’s strategy and supply-chain management. “We are characterised by our engagement in different parts of the production process, and by our ability to develop relationships with upstream suppliers and downstream customers,” he says.

The company is following Aldi’s model by adding more fresh food and premium-brand household products. To attract young shoppers, CJ aims to produce 200-300 SKUs of its own branded products.The company will also offer a greater range of snacks, drinks, household goods and ready-to-eat meals, similar to those offered at 7-Eleven but at a lower price, says Sathien.

CJ’s home-product segment includes Wow dishwashing liquid, Soft D fabric conditioner,  Champ laundry detergent and Big Gun bathroom cleaner, as well as Chef Yai canned tuna.

CJ also plans to feature a beauty corner with branded personal-care items such as cosmetics and body lotions.

Sathien says CJ will add 10 to 20 shops this year, an investment of up to THB200 million. The number of outlets will reach 600 over the next two years, but the company’s focus will stay on large cities.


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