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  2005 April Issue
   
Cover Story
Taking the digital route to snag shoppers' interest
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Matahari Supermarket maps out growth with dynamic integrated strategy
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Retailers in tsunami-affected zones in Sri Lanka resume business
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Central Food Retail to invest US$2.6m to spruce up stores and open new outlets
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eBay to pump US$100m into China operations


 




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Central Food Retail to invest US$2.6m to spruce up stores and open new outlets

 

CENTRAL FOOD RETAIL, the supermarket arm of Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation (CRC), has set aside 100 million baht (US$2.6 million) for store openings and the upgrading of existing branches in Thailand this year.

It is opening an outlet each in Sri Racha, Rayong and Bang Saen in Chon Buri this month, said Central Food Retail president Ian Pye. With more openings expected in the second half of the year, Central Food Retail is working on having at least 61 Tops supermarkets, one City Market, also by Tops, and 12 MarketPlace outlets by year-end.

Besides renovating its three current branches — in Chiang Mai, Chidlom and Ratanathibet — in the second quarter of 2005, the company is carrying out an extensive makeover at Central World Plaza in Bangkok next year.

Central Food Retail’s plans could help expand the retailer’s customer base, sustain a profit margin of at least 1%-2% and push up sales by 20% at end 2005. Last year, the company registered a 14% sales growth from the year before to 16 billion baht. Of this amount, 12 billion baht came from existing outlets while 4 billion baht were generated from the acquisition of Food Lion Supermarkets, which later became Tops.

Central Food Retail is also reducing operation and energy costs through new distribution methods, following the governmentÂ’s move last month to cut diesel subsidy.

In January this year, Central Group announced plans to invest in various projects amounting to 13,500 million baht, of which 2% will go to the groupÂ’s food business.


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