Central spends B1bn to open about 60 Tops outlets

Central Food Retail Co (CFR), the operator of Tops supermarkets, is set to spend 1 billion baht to fund its expansion this year.

The budget will be used to open 12-15 new branches of Tops Market, Tops Supermarket and Central Food Hall, plus 50 new branches under Tops Daily.

CFR will also upgrade information technology and its customer relationship management scheme.

Phattaraporn Phenpraphat, vice-president for marketing and public relations, said the company has no clear plan which Tops Daily outlets will be converted into FamilyMart convenience stores.

The targets will be outlets with less than 250 square metres of space.

Central Retail Corporation last year won the bid to operate the FamilyMart chain in Thailand.

"Without any clear plan about FamilyMart, we will continue to expand and open new Tops branches this year," Ms Phattaraporn said.

CFR will open Tops Daily outlets with space more than 250 sq m to avoid duplication with FamilyMart.

The company has 232 retail outlets, of which 129 are Tops Daily stores.

CFR will also invest 250 million baht in its SPOT Rewards loyalty programme, with a new scheme of SPOT Money Back allowing members to collect points without a minimum purchase.

It is also introducing new technology for its touch-screen kiosks, ensuring its members can use the latest innovation to access exclusive shopping benefits.