Makro launches novel concept for home dwellers
Siam Makro, the operator of Makro cash-and-carry stores, has launched a new concept store to cash in on a business opportunity from the pandemic.
Siriporn Dechsingha, the company's chief corporate communication officer, said with many people staying home during the pandemic and higher demand from end users, the company in June introduced the Fresh @ Makro store at Ease Park community mall, Ram Intra KM 4.
The Fresh @ Makro store applies concepts used at Makro's cash and carry stores, food services, eco and food outlets.
The store offers mainly fresh food items, taking up 70% of the total space of 800 square metres, targeting small food stores and big families.
There are 134 Makro stores in Thailand and seven Makro stores overseas, including India and Cambodia.
"With about 30% of Makro business coming from HoReCa [hotel, restaurant and catering], our sales from this channel declined by 10% in the first quarter," said Ms Siriporn.
"While the situation is gradually improving, we still believe the economy will be not the same as long as the tourism business is not back to normal."
She said the company hopes local consumption will improve in the second half this year after the government launches tourism stimulus packages.
"Nonetheless, we remain worried about a second wave if the government reopens the country and allows foreigners back come in," said Ms Siriporn.
"We want the government to take serious preventive measures for these people and ensure a balance between the country's economy and people's safety and hygiene."
In addition to the new concept store, the company is ramping up its online business, which fared very well during the pandemic.
Out of 134 Makro stores in the country, up to 100 stores provide delivery services to customers.
To support the delivery service expansion, the company plans to open more Makro pick-pack points in the future.
The company operates three Makro pick-pack points, all in Bangkok.
Ms Siriporn said based on the company's data, more end-user customers came to shop at Makro stores and made larger purchases.
More people are buying products to donate to people who were affected by the pandemic.
She also cited research from the SCB Economic Intelligence Center, the research arm of Siam Commercial Bank, that found 96% of Thai households have allocated their spending for donations.
In 2019, the donation value was estimated to be worth 130 billion baht, a rise of 38% from the year before.
The company has arranged a set of various products for donation via the delivery channel, serving people who want to make donations to homes for children with disabilities under the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.