By The Nation
John Christie, chief executive officer of Tesco Lotus, said: “Now in our 23rd year of operating in Thailand, we remain very much committed to our customers and to the Thai economy. The focus of our investments in 2017 includes new store openings, refurbishing existing stores, while also continuing to expand our online shopping channels. We will also continue on the journey we began last year, to improve the fresh food value chain from end to end, in order to uplift quality and drive down prices for our customers, while helping farmers gain a higher income.”
Tesco Lotus currently operates more than 1,900 stores in 73 provinces in Thailand and three online shopping platforms, he said. “Our plan for this year is to open stores in both large and small formats, while enhancing the online shopping platforms, to provide customers with access to high-quality products at affordable prices. With more store openings this year, our total number of stores will be close to 2,000 by the end of our 2017 fiscal year.”
Christie said the retailer would continue to refurbish existing stores. “Last year we refurbished 18 hypermarkets, and this year we plan to upgrade a similar number of stores to provide customers with a better shopping experience,” he said.
“A significant portion of our investment this year will go towards continuing an end-to-end improvement of our fresh food supply chain to uplift product quality and lower prices for customers. In doing so, we work closely with local farmers through every link of the supply chain, from planning production volume to giving them knowledge about safety and quality standards, which help increase yields and therefore farmers’ income,” Christie added.
Tesco Lotus will also invest in state-of-the-art machinery for packing houses, transportation systems and distribution centres to preserve freshness, he said.
Apart from fresh food, Tesco Lotus will continue to keep prices low for the products that matter the most to customers. Last year, prices of mom and baby products, rice and snacks were brought down and customers have responded positively to the lower prices.
Christie said the retailer would also support communities, from helping people during natural disasters to arranging donation programmes for the underprivileged. “In addition, we have incorporated social contributions into our business operations, such as being the first retailer in Thailand to donate surplus food from our stores and distribution centres to people in need and equipping farmers with business knowledge as we purchase fruit and vegetables directly from them,” he said.