TESCO LOTUS yesterday said it is committed to continuous investment in Thailand, especially in the development of omni-channel retailing that meshes with the ambitions of the government’s Thailand 4.0 technology vision.
However, the company’s chief executive Sompong Rungnirattisai denied to disclose the investment budget, saying that it would be no less than last year’s.
A large portion of the total investment would be allocated towards the opening of stores as well as increasing the efficiency and capabilities of Tesco Lotus's online business.
The company also plans to refurbish around 120 stores this year to enhance the shopping experiences for customers. This would include upgrades to the look and feel of the outlets, as improved services in the fresh food departments and the reallocation of space to fit with customers’ lifestyles, Sompong said. In 2017, the company purchased more than 200,000 tonnes of fresh food directly from farmers, an increase of more than 30 per cent over the previous year.
“We are looking to add around 596,000 square feet of sales floor space, which is a 44 per cent increase on last year's new space. Last year, we opened 67 new stores,” Sompong said.
“Our approach is no longer to look at stores by format, but as omni-channel retailing offering a seamless experience for our shoppers wherever and whenever they shop at Tesco Lotus.
“Today, around 40 per cent of our customer base are cross-channel shoppers, and we expect that this number will continue to increase.”
Sompong said that rather than the company focusing on the multi-format offering of bricks-and-mortar outlets, Tesco Lotus is looking towards omni-channel retailing. “This approach means that customers are able to shop with Tesco Lotus anywhere, anytime, be it in our hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, or online,” he said.
“They're also able to do so in a seamless experience and can expect to have the same great quality products at affordable prices through all of Tesco Lotus's retail channels.
“The key challenge for many industries, including retail, is the speed at which customer behaviour is changing. Our task is to continue to fulfil their needs and serve them better, and we have to be able to do this at a much faster pace than ever before.”