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Posted 2004-03-04 09:10:34
i am writing an article about Tesco Lotus in Thailand and am interested in
comments about peoples experiences there.
Comments about service, products and anything else of interest would be appreciated
Posted 2004-03-04 09:27:32
My first visit to Thailand in 1990/91 I don't ever think I saw any, nor Big C or any of those big super stores but they may have been there. My wifes family went to market places that sprung up under bridges that were muddy and dirty to buy there vegetables and meat. The flys were all over the food and it was pretty unhygenic. I know it's still pretty much like that in smaller villiages in Thailand.
Now they go to Tesco Lotus and Big C and those places are air conditioned and priced nearly the same as the market places or small shops. I think they much rather prefer the new way of shopping, putting their kids in the free electric cars and shopping in clean aircon premises. There's nothing like buying a whole fish and then they cook it for you there and then too. Much better than the dirty old bridge markets.
Thai families come from far away to shop there and they buy heaps. It's not uncommon to see 3 or 4 trolleys full of goods going out with one family. They seem to love it.
For me personally I love it too, has everything, it's cheap and it's airconditioned. The food courts are cheap and clean too. The big plus though is it's the same price for farangs and Thai, not like some of the smaller shops that try to rip farangs off. Prices are clearly shown and everyone pays the same.
Posted 2004-03-04 09:35:22
One thing I like most about Tesco is that Fish Cooking thing..
Posted 2004-03-04 10:27:13
I like the live king-prawns (crayfish) - you can buy a carrier bag brim full of them ready for the BBQ still alive - can't get fresher than that!
As said above, fair pricing and cheap. Sell absolutely everything - even the kitchen sink. Pretty girls in uniform to help the lost farangs - where is the coffee?
Could be a little more logical in putting food stuff together - although this is true of many supermarkets the world over.
Sometimes they will not let you take the trollies outside to the car, which is a real pain in the you know where - like I really wanted a shopping trolly, but never mind I'll happily swap it for a hernia instead - thanks!
Posted 2004-03-04 10:54:26
Teso Lotus not the place to buy fresh veg.and fruit in Chaingmai checkouts under staff reminds me of UK except for the cashiers are alot better looking and alot slimer a,so sell alot of non fresh products the market we buy from is not dirty and the services are better Carrefour alot better and more pretty birds
Posted 2004-03-04 11:22:06
Like any supermarket the world over.....its big business. While they are relatively new to Thailand. Give them time and their prices will go up. As the small mumma and poppa shops dissapear, the big supermarkets will change for the worse for Thai people.
On the other hand (cant say its positive) the big air con supermarkets and food centres do offer a recreational option for people as well. On a reallyhot day they will be packed out. I remember back to the days when Siam centre was a new building and a novelty for locals. the foyer had a tv and their was always loads of locals just sitting their watching it and keeping cool. Back then they even had staff sitting at a desk in the toilets to collect money......felt sorry for the young girl there who had to sit and collect 1 baht from every guy who walked in and then watch him go to the wall for a slash !! Shocking really......look for another thread about ...coming up !
Back to Tesco Lotus....soit becomes a leisure thing.....just like the concept of 'the mall' where amercias youth has learned its ways !! I would be happier for locals in Bangkok if some way could be found to tax big shopping centres in a way that they are forced to provide a certain amount of open green space for every square metre they occupy......all withinthe same district !! Oh and also to use an alternative to plastic bags.......what a source of pollution they are !!
Posted 2004-03-04 11:44:22
fruits and veges are cheaper in the markets, compared to all supermarkets. in Tesco I find the selection of cheeses and coldcuts disappointing, just look at carrefour opposite on Rama 4. Might it have anything to do with Tesco being English?
Posted 2004-03-04 12:31:31
I think its great! Wish we had the selection of Asian goods like that here in SW Florida
Posted 2004-03-04 12:31:55
I also think that fruits and vegies are much cheaper at the localmarket.
I like the idea of being able to buy a lof of bread, a battery powered drill and underwear within 5 minutes.
''Convoys'' of shopping carts are frequent at checkout (is there such a thing as '' checkout rage '' ??) , but Tesco is still my favorite store. (Chonburi)
Posted 2004-03-04 12:39:16
Highly overpriced drug/make up section (seems to be run on contract basis). Bakery products very limited and fair quality at some and poor at others. Camera section seems to be another contract with a poor attitude (at 0945 told to come later when need something behind shelf) when store opens at 0830. Poor stock control (last visit half shelves empty at one store) and frequent blocked isles. Waits at cashiers sometimes long (which at local wage rate should not happen).
On plus side pleasant physical shopping facility with good fast food sections and a fair price for most items.
Posted 2004-03-04 13:34:23
I wouldn't give them the time of the day. A waste of time trying to find products, assistants can't find products either and certainly in BKK more expensive than Foodland or even my local village shop. Long queues at cash tills, insufficiently manned tills, goods inconsistently marked. Maybe OK for Thai as many of the products are sub standard by western standards. The only asset is the air-conditioning. Very limited western stock in Tesco imported lines. Not worth the hassle of Bangkok traffic.
Posted 2004-03-04 13:47:25
i'm not sure why they have this problem, but tesco acknowledge that they have very high staff turnover, which explains the sometimes disappointing response of service staff.
i have to concurr with natee1 that the carrefour on rama iv is one of the best around - it is far from being the same standard as amongst the entire chain, however. i don't know whether it is the management in this particular store or whether, because of local demographics, they have chosen to stock a different selection of produce ... but go to the bakery and meats section and you're bound to spot the chilled french goodies on display ... imo, the best selection of cheese, pate, cold meats, deserts and drinks anywhere and - for me - a real bonus is the normandy cider ...
just next door in malaysia, an array of foreign food - like fresh australian dairy - like carrefour's is quite normal, so why is it such a rarity here and why do so-called specialists like villa make such a poor job of it?
everytime i go to villas, i remember oliver's deli in hk, and wish whistfully ... dream on!
Posted 2004-03-04 14:24:38
Living in Phuket we don't have the luxury of Carrefour or Foodland so we have to suffer Lotus and Big C.
The first thing Lotus needs to do is to organize the shelf re-stocking in such a way that does not leave many areas of the store inaccessible due products been left stacked on the floor.
Secondly for such a large store the variety of food available seems to be limited, if you wish to choose from 30 brands of Soy and fish sauce or whole rows dedicated to packet noodles, powdered milk then this is the place. Now you may think that this is Thailand and that's what the Thais want - well I live in a house with 6 Thai people and when we go to Tesco these areas are just bypassed.
Considering the wealth of Tescos own brand products available in the UK its a great shame that we don't see many of these in Thailand. Again a lot of people may argue that Thai's don't want these products - well you just ask my wife who absolutely loved Tescos in the UK - the cakes, biscuits tinned goods etc.
So if anyone from Carrefour is reading this please open a branch in Phuket you would make a lot of money and a lot people very happy.
Posted 2004-03-04 17:29:07
I agree with you Mike, Tesco Phuket is a bit of a let down, thats if you can find a parking space - anyone know what the C in Big C stands for?
Posted 2004-03-04 18:43:42
In February last year I went to Tesco Koh Samui to buy TV, stereo and a DVD player and the sum was about 40.000 - 50.000Bt for an AIWA surround system and a JVC TV (plus a hot water heatner for the shower). When I get home the first thing that happens is that the receiver doesn’t work and I have to go back with it and there was no problem exchanging it for a new one, but it took me about 2-3 hours before everything was settled with the staff. After 2 months the hot water heatner I bought for the shower broke and I even had to return the hose to the service desk otherwise they could not repair it they said, even though it was no problem with the hose I did, and so I had to buy a new one to be able to shower. After 10 weeks I go to Tesco to check what happens as I haven’t heard anything, and it was still not repaired, but after additional 2 weeks it was finished…So a total of 12 weeks to get it repaired.
5˝ months later when I have a problem with the receiver I bought in February I went to Tesco to get it exchanged or repaired (I don’t really know the guarantee rules in Tesco) and when I got there it takes about 1 hour and about 5-6 people before someone actually understand what to do and what the problem is even though I explained it many times. After 1 hour they asked me for the guarantee card for the receiver, however I told them I didn't think I had one but said I would go home and check. After checking all the manuals and bags for everything I bought at the same time, I realize I don’t have a guarantee card for the receiver and neither for the TV nor DVD. A couple of days later I return to Tesco and tell them I never got a guarantee card (I know because I still have all the other papers and manuals stored in one and same location) so they tell me they cannot do anything to help me. I got angry and left the receiver at the desk because if it doesn’t work I have no use for it. I wrote a note to the manager but he didn't even bother calling me...
So ok I can go there to buy food, but I would never ever buy any electrical hardware there... It's all bunch of cheap crap.
Posted 2004-03-05 00:24:13
I have the Impression that Tesco & Big C are able to
keep their prices down by buying old stock.
Comparison of Expiry dates indicates this.
In Big C I have found items that have expired
- placed them on the floor - and later seen them back on the shelves.
Again in Big C I have found the same item with expiry dates
six months apart - lack of stock control.
I purchsed an Electrical Item in Big C - I was given a guarantee card
- but was given the run around trying to get it stamped -
go to Customer Service - no go to the third floor ...
(I was with a Thai friend & he was holding the card so it was not
a Language problem) - I definitely got the idea that nobody wanted to be responsible for validating the guarantee card.
I consider Carrefour & Foodland to be better.
Posted 2004-03-05 01:49:02
i use the branch in Udon Thani fairly regularly , the prices are not the cheapest as you would expect , the mom/pop shops are cheaper for beer and cooking oil etc.
Posted 2004-03-09 09:48:23
When Tesco Lotus started in Pattaya, it was like a breath of fresh air.
Their own brand products, like jam, porridge oats.
Now it is just another store. Many of the good things have disappeared, I guess them did not sell.
Stock control is poor.
Several times I go to buy routine items and the shelf is bare.
Ask and I get the standard Thai answer "Mai Mee".
Go to the Customer Service counter and ask for the duty manager, and quite likely they have the item in the store out back.
However some items are missing from the shelves for weeks on end.
The concept of Re-order levels does not seem to have been implemented.
The computer should track sales and re-order before the shelf is empty. Staff also need to restock the shelves.
I have written to Bangkok head Office many times, they do not even acknowledge my letters now!!
Posted 2004-03-09 13:16:52
In Saudi the major FMCG stores employ managers from Europe, experienced in fast Moving Consumer Goods (Supermarkets / hypermarkets).
It just takes one or two experienced men to get the stock-control organised, the shelves filled, the price tickets applied and the variety of goods expanded.
Here it seems that all stores have local management, untrained in the size of store we are discussing. A little mom-and-pop shop needs to stock the fast turn-over goods, needs to keep up cash-flow, needs to get rid of slow-moving stock. this is what the average Thai shop manager understands. It is not what FMCG shops are about. They can afford to keep some slow lines, because they can attract shoppers who will also pick up a dozen other items - plus the mark-up can be enormous.
Don't just write to the local head office - write back to UK or France, telling the parent company that the Thai operation is denting their image abroad. (Then they may close all branches, or improve the image. Or do nothing)
Posted 2004-03-09 14:17:54
The way that guarantees or warranties, work here is that. You can take something back to Tescos within seven days of purchase and get a replacement. After that you you have to take it up with the manafacturer via the gurantee card. On the whole I have found that the staff are not immune to the usual cluelessness, exhibited by most of the natives here, when it comes to thinking or service. Though Tescos and Big C are far better places to buy electrical goods rather, than your local Thai store.
On the subject of food, Foodland is superior when it comes to bread. Carrefour and Tescos, just don't come up to scratch. Has anyone found a place where one can by Mr Kiplings?????
Posted 2004-07-09 05:31:02
Tesco lotus often cheaper than carrefour and bigc (it seems to me, but what about you?).
Posted 2004-07-09 06:20:46
From reading this forum, I get the idea that individual branches must be very different. The one on Hangdong Rd in Chiang Mai is very good, well organized, the people working there actually are working there and are very helpful, the shelves are full, the checkout lines aren't so bad, even the fruits and vegetables pass muster. I do find the electronics department to be disappointing as to stock carried and price. All in all. a good place to shop....not so expensive as Rimping and much more convenient (for me) than Carrefours, which in CM, at least, has a much inferior personnel working for them. To give an example... before we moved to CM, my wife wanted to visit various stores to check on availability of lots (and I do mean lots) of things that she had become accustomed to in the US. A Lotus employee saw us wandering around with a sheet of paper, checking things off, and asked if he could help us. We told him what we were doing and that we planned to buy nothing at all. Nonetheless, he spent a good quarter hour escorting us around, explaining what Lotus both did & didn't have, and graciously told us that he hoped to see us again after our move. He, of course, has.
Posted 2004-07-09 09:49:13
Lotus was started as a Wal-mart copy by the CP group. They hired mostly Wal-mart employees to conceptualize, locate, start up, operate, and do logistics. When PM Chavalit floated (sunk) the Baht, CP sold off the shares to Tesco. Tesco is so impressed with the format and the Supercenter concept, they have rolled it out in Europe. Imagine, a Thai start up being transplanted to Prague or Warsaw.
The concept is mostly similar to walmart in the US. The biggest difference is the level of cooperation between the buyers and sellers. Many times Lotus takes an adversarial approach, while Wal-mart cooperates and speedily implements supplier ideas for cost savings and efficency..especially if they can use this to lower consumer prices. It is a shame that these policies were not incorporated.
Having visited almost all branches of Lotus, Carrefour and Big C, I must admit a preference for Lotus in general, though I find the fresh groceries (meat, fruit, fish, bread, etc ) better at Carefour. Bic C seems to be the cheapest overall but I fell there are many issues with guality of merchandise sold.
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