News: Thailand-based retailer Central Retail Corporation (CRC) is set to open 260 new stores under its supermarket and convenience store banners in the country in 2014. The retailer will open 60 new stores under its Tops supermarket banner, and 200 under the FamilyMart banner, the Bangkok Post reports. The group will invest THB1.7bn (US$533.17mn) in the expansion of the Tops stores, which will include 24 Tops Daily mini-supermarkets. The THB1bn (US$31.36mn) investment in FamilyMart will be focused on outlets in tourist areas in the country. CRC, as part of its growth plans, also is converting several Tops Daily outlets to the FamilyMart format.
BMI View : Growth in the Thai mass grocery retail (MGR) sector in recent years has been driven by rising purchasing power among consumers amid general economic recovery and better employment conditions. Convenient shopping and the wide variety of products on offer attract consumers to modern outlets at the expense of remaining traditional retail outlets. Furthermore, an increase in the number of workingwomen has led to a rising demand for convenient and easy-to-prepare food products. In addition, eating habits have changed to include a greater variety of imported products. All of these factors, as well as economic development, have combined to make Thailand's MGR sector hugely appealing to multinational operators.