Big C Supercenter Plc, a leading retail-wholesale company, is poised to double its expansion rate from previous years, particularly in tourist destinations.
The move aligns with increased opportunities as the Tourism Authority of Thailand intensifies its promotion of second-tier cities.
According to Big C chief executive Aswin Techajareonvikul, sales at 25 Big C stores in tourist destinations grew by 37% from June to July this year, while domestic spending is still challenged by a stagnant global economy.
The company plans to expand in tourist destinations by converting 35 Big C Supercenters into a tourist store concept across the country, bringing total stores in tourist destinations to 60 by the end of this year.
Of the 35 supercentres to be converted, 14 are in Bangkok, five are in the eastern region, four stores each in the northern, central and southern areas, while the remaining three stores and one store will be in western and the northeastern regions, respectively.
Moreover, 10-15 existing Big C stores will be fully renovated every 7-10 years with improved floor plans, layout, aesthetics and design, as well as rezoned Big C and Town Centers.
Every 5-7 years, the company plans to have a partial renovation of its existing stores in terms of functional improvements and utilities infrastructure.
Piyawan Piyapong, the company’s chief officer for digital platforms, said Big C will allocate 600 million baht during 2024-26 for digital facilities, people, and new technology to strengthen the digital experience.
The company also plans to launch next year a new online platform, Big C Market Place, to sell lifestyle products, cosmetics and other items.
To access more Chinese shoppers, the company wants to open a Big C warehouse in eastern China next year to sell its products. The company joined hands with Grab three months ago to allow Chinese shoppers in Thailand to shop via GrabMart.
When Chinese customers are in their hometowns, Big C provides the WeChat outbound eShop with cross-border delivery, or shopping via Tmall global eShop with domestic delivery.
Big C allows customers to shop via 13 channels in 1,600 stores.
Bussaya Yindeesuk, the company’s chief officer of customer value management, said retail competition is intense and Big C plans to invest more than 1 billion baht during 2023-27 to develop new innovative products and services to satisfy its customers.
Big C has joined hands with leading brand partners including AIS, KBank, AEON, Jay Mart and Bangchak to bring points to exchange for cash discounts at Big C stores.