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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BIG C CHALLENGING MAKRO

Big C Supercenter Plc is expanding into the cash-and-carry store business, challenging the dominance of Siam Makro.

The first Big C Jumbo, formerly Carrefour Samrong, had its soft opening near the Pu Chao Saming Phrai intersection in Samut Prakan last week.



With more space than regular Big C stores, Big C Jumbo seeks the same customers as Makro does: wholesalers and shopkeepers. The second Big C Jumbo will open on Aug 18 by transforming Big C's original store in southern Pattaya.

Big C Jumbo is the company's sixth model. The other five are: the original Big C Supercenter hypermarket; Big C Extra, former Carrefour stores with more premium products; Big C Market, a format similar to a supermarket; Mini Big C, a 24-hour convenience store; and Pure by Big C, a health and beauty chain.

Big C said yesterday that its second-quarter net profit rose 54% year-on-year to 1.09 billion baht on sales of 26.4 billion baht, up 44% from a year earlier.

First-half consolidated net profit was 2.04 billion baht (2.53 baht a share), an increase of 33% from 1.51 billion (1.88 baht a share) in the same period last year. Sales in the period increased by 47.9% to 56.42 billion baht.

The company plans to open six new outlets in all formats except Big C Jumbo in the second half of this year, said Kudatara Nagaviroj, corporate image marketing director.

Yesterday, Big C signed an agreement with Michelin Siam Group and Toll Logistics for a green supply chain. The goal is to use new technology and practices to save energy and reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 million kilogrammes by 2014 throughout its supply chain.

Greg O'Shea, Big C's vice-president for supply chain management, said the company would invest 300 million baht to develop its green supply chain to the end of 2014.

BIGC shares closed yesterday on the SET at 114.50 baht, up 50 satang.

Meanwhile, rival Tesco Lotus is teaming up with its tenants to offer special discounts to customers at all shopping complexes for the first time.

Kurt Kamp, chief marketing officer, said it would spend 80 million baht to stage the Clubcard Bonus Month campaign from today to Aug 29. It will offer special points, cash-back and other rewards to its seven million customers.

"We also are joining with more than 500 rental tenants in various international and local businesses to give shoppers special discounts," he said.

If the feedback is positive, the company will extend the offerings in the future.

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