Tesco Lotus offers online-to-door shopping
- Published: 25/03/2013 at 10:31 PM
- Online news:
Superstore Tesco Lotus will bring internet-to-home shopping to Thailand next week, according to the executive overseeing the plan.
Tesco says its delivery vans for Thailand are smaller than the UK vans to better deal with traffic, but have superior refrigeration. (File photo)
Online operations begin in Thailand next week and in China in June or July, the last but one of Tesco's 12 international markets to complete plans for home delivery to customers from an internet connection.
Director Frans Falize said at a briefing in Bangkok Monday that the final stores, in Turkey, will begin online operations in January, 2014.
Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke said last week Tesco will spend $750 million (about 22 billion baht) this year to develop online shopping and other digital services, as customers worldwide shift to purchasing via computers, mobile phones and tablets.
The company now offers online grocery shopping in the UK, Ireland, Korea, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Malaysia.
The Thailand website of Tesco Lotus is already online with a bilingual website at www.tescolotus.com/.
A common technology and operations model based on its UK web business "allows us to launch in any market within three to six months, depending on planning restrictions," Mr Falize said. The grocer typically starts in the capital city using local stores as hubs and replicates the model across the country.
In the UK, where Tesco introduced online shopping in 1997, the Internet grocery market is growing about 15 per cent per year.
Tesco has said its online operations are profitable, without providing figures.
The first internet-centered advert is already online at the Tesco-Lotus site in Thai and English.
While the UK model serves as the blueprint for the international rollout, some local conditions and preferences have to be taken into account, according to Tesco.
The 30 vans for the Bangkok operation are smaller than those in the UK so they can better cope with traffic congestion. Still, they have bigger refrigeration units to protect fresh and frozen foods from the sweltering heat.
Bangkok customers will have the option to pay the delivery driver by credit or ATM card when their food is delivered, because in some markets there is distrust of online payments, Mr Falize said.
In Thailand, where cash is still more widely used than payment cards, Tesco will have to accept cash when it delivers online orders, he said.
Tesco's online business in Thailand starts in Bangkok on Thursday, April 4. The country is the retailer's second-largest international market, accounting for revenue of 3.2 billion pounds (142 billion baht) last year. The Tesco Lotus chain has more than 1,400 stores in Thailand, and a leading market share of about 14.5 per cent.
Tesco runs hypermarkets, convenience stores and about 140 shopping malls in Thailand.
Last year, it opened 350 convenience stores, which Tesco Thailand CEO John Christie said he is seeking to match this year.
About the author
- Writer: Bloomberg News
Position: News agency