CP All Plc, the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, will expand into Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as it seeks to benefit from an integrated Asean market from Dec 2015.
Managing director Piyawat Titasattavorakul confirmed that CP All has submitted a proposal to 7-Eleven’s parent company in the US to open stores in four of Thailand’s neighbouring countries.
It is the next step after CP was approved to open 7-Eleven stores in China by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
Mr Piyawat is confident that CP All will be allowed to operate 7-Eleven stores in one city near Shanghai by the end of this year after several years of waiting.
Good business performance in Thailand has given the firm confidence to expand into China. Though 450 to 500 new 7-Eleven stores are opened in Thailand every year, sales from existing stores grew at an average of 10.9% in 2012, the highest growth rate for 7-Eleven in the world.
An average of 1,234 customers visit each 7-Eleven store in Thailand daily, compared with 1,052 in Japan and 920 in the US.
Mr Piyawat had no further details of investment plans in China but is certain about the market opportunity there, which is expected to be twice of the size of Thailand.
CP All has so far been granted four licences for operating 7-Eleven stores in four trade zones in China, while another six are awaiting approval.
Apart from overseas expansion, CP All will also speed up its expansion domestically with a 6-6.5 billion baht investment budget to be allocated this year.
The additional outlets will bring a total of 7,360 7-Eleven stores to Thailand by the end of 2013. Last year, CP All operated 6,822 outlets across the country.
As of Dec 2012, there were a total of 12,440 convenience stores in the kingdom. Aside from 7-Eleven stores there are 1,059 fromTesco-Lotus Express, 929 from V-Shop, 765 from FamilyMart, 123 from Tops Daily, with the remainder made up of other brands including CP Food Market, CP Fresh Mart and 108 Shop.
30 January 2013
Photo: Bangkok Post