Seven big retailing chains _ notably not including Tesco Lotus, 7-Eleven and Watsons _ agreed yesterday to freeze outlet expansion for 30 days to ease current tension between small local shopowners and large, mainly foreign chains. Executives of Big C, Makro, Carrefour, Boots Retail, Foodland, Family Mart and Tops Supermarket told the Commerce Ministry they were ready to co-operate with its request.
Small retailers hold up a poster explaining their plight in front of an Army building yesterday. â€” CHANAT KATANYU
Executives from Watsons and 7-Eleven said they would announce their position tomorrow while Tesco said it needed more time to consider the matter.
The companies that had agreed to the freeze would cease activity related to land purchases for new store sites to allow time for a new committee to assess possible impacts on small shops nearby from any planned large stores, according to Siripol Yodmuangcharoen, the director-general of the Internal Trade Department.
Stores that are about to start operating soon will be able to go ahead with their schedules in order to avoid adverse effects on employees who have been hired.
Atipol Terahsongkran, an executive assistant with Foodland, said the supermarket chain would postpone the opening of its 11th outlet, on Ratchadaphisek Road, which had been planned for the next few days.