Muji of Japan took up a joint venture with Central Department Store (CDS) to speed up its growth in Thailand amid fierce competition in the fashion business.
Muji (Thailand) Co was recently set up with registered capital of THB200 million (USD6.4m) to operate in Thailand. CDS changed its status from distributor to business partner, holding a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, while 49 percent belongs to Muji Japan.
Thailand is the third country in which Muji has used a joint venture after South Korea and Taiwan.
CP All Plc, the local operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand, is extending its market dominance in the THB2.2 trillion (USD76.16 billion) retail market with the acquisition of Siam Makro Plc's cash-and-carry chain for THB188.88 billion.
It is the largest merger and acquisition transaction globally in the retail sector this year, and the largest M&A in Asia-Pacific as well, according to Thomson Reuters.
Thailand's Central Marketing Group (CMG) will spend THB3 billion (USD97.9 million) to open outlets of Payless ShoeSource, the largest US shoe store chain, in Thailand and Vietnam over the next five years.
Thailand's biggest fashion distributor has received a five-year licence from Payless ShoeSource Inc, a business unit of Collective Brands Inc, the leading US shoe company, to operate its multi-brand stores in Thailand and Indochina. A total of 45 Payless shops will open in the region over the next five years.
Central Retail Corporation (CRC), Thailand's largest retailer, plans to convert all its Tops Daily convenience stores to FamilyMarts starting next year and increase FamilyMart branches to 1,500 over the next five years.
According to CRC CEO Tos Chirathivat, the company will spend THB2-3 billion until 2017 to expand the world's second largest convenience store brand in Thailand.
It aims to have at least 1,000 convenience stores nationwide by year-end 2012 and 3,000 branches by 2022.
UK pharmacy and beauty store chain Boots will more than double its store estate in Thailand over the next three years, totalling more than 300 shops.
The pharmacy group, which last month revealed a major merger with US drugstore giant Walgreens, currently has 200 stores in Thailand.
Tesco also announced plans to open three "state-of-the art" distribution centres in Thailand through its Tesco Lotus business.
The contraction of the IT market was attributed to declining notebook computer sales, which plunged more than 20% year-on-year. As a result, many retailers were carrying excess inventory and had low liquidity.
About 300 of the estimated 3,000 computer shops in Thailand have closed their doors this year, according to spokesmen for the information technology sector.
Korean fried chicken is coming to Thailand courtesy of Fico Group. Kyochon Thailand Co has a budget of 60 million baht to open 15 outlets next year. It will also expand the chain with a franchise format. Evolution Capital chief executive Sanjay Singh said fast food business in Thailand is huge with annual sales of more than 25 billion baht, of which 40% is from fried chicken.
Defying both the lagging economy and the consumer slowdown, Thailand's handset market continues its double-digit growth this year thanks to a spike in smartphone sales.
Smartphones continue to drive the vibrant performance of the mobile phone market, propelling the country's overall handset industry to expand by at least 10 percent to 16.5 million units.
The Finance Ministry's plan to slash import tariffs on luxury products may be applied selectively, to avoid affecting domestic producers of similar items, particularly leather and accessories, Thailand's Deputy Finance Minister Benja Louicharoen said on Monday.
She was responding to a report that the ministry is considering a cut in import tariffs on luxury products, from 30 percent to around 5 percent, to help position Thailand as a shopping paradise for both Thais and foreign visitors.
Thailand's Finance Ministry is considering a sharp cut in import tariffs on luxury products, from 30 percent to around 5 percent, to help position Thailand as a shopping paradise for Thais and foreign visitors, according to Areepong Bhoocha-oom, the finance permanent secretary.
He said the ministry is expected over the next month or two to agree on new tariff rates for imported luxury items such as bandname perfumes, cosmetics, garments and accessories, to encourage Thai shoppers to buy these products in Thailand instead of going abroad to purchase them.