- The last visible vestiges of Tesco‘s Asian retail operations are set to disappear as Malaysian and Thai stores carrying the UK company’s name undergo a rebrand.
- Bangkok-based Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), one of the world’s biggest agrifood players, is renaming former Tesco outlets following its $10.6 billion buyout of the UK retail giant’s operations in the two territories last year.
- Tesco stores in Malaysia and Tesco Lotus supermarkets in Thailand will now be known as Lotus’s.
Why it matters:
UK-based Tesco — one of the world’s largest grocery retailers — entered Thailand in 1998 by acquiring 75% of CP’s Lotus chain, rebranding the stores under the Tesco Lotus name. It bought out the rest of CP’s stake in 2003. It launched in Malaysia in 2002 through a joint venture with local conglomerate Sime Darby.
CP also operates around 12,000 7-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand, as well as cash-and-carry chain Makro. The CP group also includes agrifood business CP Foods — the world’s largest producer of shrimp and animal feed — and e-commerce unit Ascend. With its buyback of Tesco Lotus in Thailand and acquisition of Tesco Malaysia, CP will command a 60% and a 15% share of the local grocery market, respectively, in each country.
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The UK company previously ran retail operations in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, but has since exited each market. It continues to own stakes in Hong Kong’s U Select and India’s StarBazaar chains, though these do not feature the Tesco name. Some Tesco-branded products are still sold via third-party retailers in several Asian countries.
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