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FamilyMart withdraws from Thailand

FamilyMart, a well-known Japanese retail chain, is exiting the Thai market, with all of its remaining convenience stores running as Tops Daily, a brand owned by Central Group. By the end of 2023, the conversion should be complete.
According to Nikkei, FamilyMart will leave Thailand entirely after its franchise arrangement with local retailer Central Group expired in late May.

The decision was announced on August 10, but the conversion of FamilyMart stores into Tops Daily mini-supermarkets had already begun.

As of now, just the green shopping baskets at many stores remind shoppers of the FamilyMart name, while the personnel uniforms and all signs have been replaced with Tops Daily.

“Unfortunately, the game has been decided in Thailand,” a FamilyMart executive who requested anonymity told Nikkei.

According to the Japanese business news agency, approximately 200 FamilyMart locations must be transformed to Tops Daily throughout the course of the year.

This demonstrates the gradual reduction in the number of FamilyMart locations in the country, which once boasted a chain of over 1,100 locations but has since dropped to just over 400.

Despite trailing 7-Eleven’s retail army of over 10,000 minimarkets, FamilyMart was nevertheless a significant participant in 2017, with 1,132 stores, according to Statista.

By the end of 2022, the number of FamilyMart locations had dropped to 415, while the number of 7-Eleven outlets had increased to 13,800, accounting for over 80% of the market.
FamilyMart entered Thailand through a joint venture in 1992 and opened its first store there in 1993. The corporation only partially localized the business, which hampered its growth.

In 2020, Central Retail Corporation (a subsidiary of Central Group) purchased 100% of the shares in the FamilyMart convenience store chain, in what the firm described as a step toward building a new business model to appeal to modern consumers.

Since 2012, Central Retail has owned about 51% of Japan FamilyMart Co. The Thai side acquired the remaining 49% in the 2020 transaction.

“Currently, FamilyMart has 1,000 stores nationwide, and we plan to continue expanding our stores, as we are committed to investing for our future growth,” Central Retail Chief Executive Officer Yol Phokasub stated at the time.

According to Mr. Yol, the acquisition will help Central build “full-scale services through customer-centric omni-channels.” On the customer side, FamilyMart offered 24/7 coin washing machines to accommodate cons’ hectic lifestyles, as well as Food Drink Container Mart machines and automated vending machines to provide greater convenience to customers.

The FamilyMart brand never expanded since the number of FamilyMart-branded stores continued to decline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, 7-Eleven continues to grow its market share while reaping the benefits of its partnership with CP Group, which has unrivaled scale in food procurement and transportation.

Statista reports that both brands survived the epidemic in distinct forms. According to Nikkei, the removal of the competitor allows 7-Eleven to tighten its grip.

credit phuket News

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