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Lawson in Asean push
Lawson Inc, Japan's second-largest convenience store chain, plans to spend 9 billion baht to expand across Asean in the next five years, using Thailand as its regional hub.
Takeshi Niinami, chief executive and representative director of Lawson Inc, said during a visit to Bangkok on Friday that Lawson plans to raise the number of stores in Asean to 5,000 within five years,...
Of the total, 1,000 stores are planned for Thailand alone. The Asean expansion will come in the form of Lawson's own investment, by joint ventures with local partners, or via mergers and acquisitions. Saha...
Saha Group, Thailand's biggest consumer goods conglomerate, will be Lawson's key partner in the expansion.
Lawson Inc began expanding abroad with its first store in China in 1998 and now has 400 in that country.
The company earlier planned to have 10,000 stores in China within five years, but the country's economic slowdown forced a pullback to 2,000.
"We want to shift our focus to Asean to cash in on the huge consumer purchasing power after the Asean integration in 2015," said Mr Niinami.
"Thailand will remain a dominant, critical country for Asean and even more so after 2015. We did not come here just to open stores. We are here to position Thailand as a strategic base to expand our business, procure products and set up a merchandise development centre for Asean."
Lawson's Thai operation is headed by Saha Lawson Co, a joint venture with Saha Group. The company's Thai stores are branded Lawson 108 due to Thais' familiarity with 108 Shop, a convenience store under Saha Pathanapibul.
So far, 13 Lawson 108 stores have opened in Bangkok, with the figure to rise to 50 by year-end. Lawson 108 has set a sales goal of 10 billion baht when the number of stores reaches 1,000 by 2018.
Various Japanese retailers have entered the Thai market in the past few decades, but only three - Isetan, Tokyo and MaxValu - remain afloat.
Lawson Inc, second only to 7-Eleven in terms of Japanese convenience store business, achieved revenue of US$20 billion last year. Half the total stemmed from sales of imported items, with one-fourth of...
Lawson yesterday officially opened its new Lawson 108 shop in The Emporio Place on Sukhumvit Soi 24. The 120-square-metre store has food, grocery items and drinks such as Japanese sake, wine and health foods.
Some 20% of products at Lawson 108 are supplied from Japan, with half coming from local merchandisers.