French hypermarket chain Carrefour is launching a new retail format to bolster its position in the Thai market.
Thailand’s first 300-squaremetre Carrefour City convenience store is a retail anchor at Urban Square community mall near Dhurakij Pundit University.
It opened its first mini-supermarket in Bangkok's Pracha Chuen area last Saturday.
CenCar Co, the local Carrefour operator, opened the "Carrefour City" store at Urban Square, a new community mall developed by Chananin Co, located behind Dhurakij Pundit University.
The new-format 300-square-metre retail outlet is double the size of a Tesco-Lotus Express store, its direct competitor. Carrefour City opens daily from 7am-11pm.
The store provides both ready-to-eat meals and other convenience products for breakfast and lunch, as well as groceries, frozen foods, drinks and household products.
The French retail giant Carrefour Group launched the Carrefour City format in France early this year, promoting it as a new convenience store concept which capitalises on the Carrefour brand.
Carrefour has operated in Thailand for 12 years but the operator has focused exclusively on hypermarkets. Three Carrefour hypermarket formats are available in the Thai market: the standard format with 6,000 sq m of retail space; the compact format with 4,000 sq m; and the mini format with 2,000 sq m. Arch-rival Tesco Lotus operates six retail formats locally. France-based Casino offers three formats - Big C Supercenter, Mini Big C and Pure by Big C.
Launching the new store format confirms that Carrefour will continue its Thai operations despite rumours that it wanted to pull out from growth markets, especially in Asia.
Lars Olofsson, CEO of Carrefour Group, said its strategy approved by the board in March remained unchanged as the group's geographic priorities are France, other European countries and growth markets, particularly Brazil, India and China.