|Piyawat: China entry may take two years|
CP All Plc, the local operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, will proceed with expansion plans in China and Vietnam to aid long-term growth.
Last August, the company shelved the plan because it did not get a response from its parent firm after seeking licences to operate 7-Eleven stores in the two countries for two years.
Managing director Piyawat Titasattavorakul said the parent firm is exploring the business potential in each economic zone itself.
CP All has high potential to get licences to operate 7-Eleven stores in the southern part of China, as the company has showed strong business performance for many years. Moreover, the economy in the south of China is strong and licences are easily obtained.
"The final conclusion about licences in China will be known in the next two years," Mr Piyawat said.
CP All plans to open 500 new outlets a year, a high mark by comparison with others in the global network. Each store could draw up to 1,200 customers per day, against 1,000 in Japan, 980 in Taiwan, 950 in the US and 400 in South Korea.
CP All operated 6,300 stores in 2011 and will aim at 6,800 this year. 7-Eleven in Japan operates 13,000 stores, the most in the world, followed by 6,500 in the US and CP All's 6,300 in Thailand.
Mr Piyawat said the company plans spending of 5 billion baht to expand business this year. Of the total, 2 billion will be used to open 500 new outlets, one billion to renovate existing stores and the rest to develop a new distribution centre in the East.
Frozen foods and bakery products will expand to match increasing demand, and the company plans to open a chilled food factory in Pattaya this year.
Shares of CP All closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 58.50 baht, up 2 baht, in trade worth 507.78 million baht.