26 February, 2021

The Thai Message

The foreign ingress into Thailand’s local retail ecosystem is a sobering case-study

Reuters (From Outlook 08 October 2012)
The Thai Message

Bullets From Bangkok

  • At roughly 300 stores per million Thais (in a population of nearly 70 million), the multi-brand retail scenario is comparable to the US
  • Following a relaxation in FDI rules after the ’97 financial crisis, MNCs had easy access into retail sector
  • Local capital proved no pushover; their protests forced out Carrefour
  • New threat from the proliferating foreign-owned convenience store


Mr Lim, a third generation Chinese Thai, and his family manage to keep their 20-year-old, rundown ‘kirana’ shop open despite poor sales. Last year, in this now affluent part of Bangkok’s Klong Toey district, a brightly-lit 7-Eleven convenience store, open 24 hours, sprang up right opposite his home-cum-shop, and now has a steady flow of customers. Lim doesn’t entirely blame these “Sevens”, as they are known here, for the decline of his business. He notes a larger change in the architecture of the locality and the...

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