Bangkok,Thailand-May 5, 2019: Tesco Lotus billboards, shopping mall in Thailand
Image credit: smallroomphoto / iStock

Brief: Tesco brand bows out of Asia after Thai food giant’s $10bn buyback

February 19, 2021

  • 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.

Tesco invests in frictionless checkout startup Trigo – read more here

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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