Tesco Lotus strives to boost store traffic

Tesco Lotus strives to boost store traffic

People spent less and made fewer visits to Tesco Lotus in the first half of this year. (Photo by PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN)
People spent less and made fewer visits to Tesco Lotus in the first half of this year. (Photo by PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN)

Tesco Lotus has mapped out big marketing events for the remaining months of the year, with the aim of boosting in-store traffic amid sluggish conditions.

Sompong Rungnirattisai, chief commercial officer of Ek-Chai Distribution System Co (the operator of Tesco Lotus), said consumers were more cautious when spending in the first half of the year, resulting in a decline in frequency of visits to hypermarkets from an average of twice a month to just once a month.

The average expenditure per bill also dropped sharply, especially for customers in provinces who suffered several negative factors, notably low farm prices.

The latest Office of Agricultural Economics figures issued yesterday showed that the farm income index in July fell by 2.6% from the same period of last year.

The index of farm prices for July plunged by more than 15% year-on-year, thanks to high early-season production of several crops such as cassava, oil palm, shrimp and longan, which lowered product prices and farm income.

But Mr Sompong believes that the spending sentiment will improve in the latter half of the year as the period ahead of the festive season is a selling time.

To cash in on the expected spending, Tesco has outlined marketing plans for the rest of the year, starting from this month, by selling products at reduced prices at its 1,900 retail branches in all formats nationwide, as well as online channels.

It has also partnered with manufacturers and producers, small and medium-sized enterprises and One Tambon One Product sellers to bring a variety of goods such as consumer products, apparel, electrical appliances and food at discount prices to the Tesco Lotus Expo, to be held at Impact Muang Thong Thani during Nov 9-12.

Mr Sompong said this is the first time Tesco will be selling outside of its stores, and he thinks the four-day fair will attract at least 150,000 visitors.

Apart from marketing campaigns, Mr Sompong said Tesco Lotus will renovate the fresh food division of the store to draw shoppers. The renovation has started at the Sukhumvit 50 branch and the makeover is nearly completed.

The marketing plans will help Tesco sales grow by 3%, on par with the retail industry this year, he said.

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