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Supermarket stores

Supermarket: Potential exists in supermarkets.

A new survey released today (Friday 11th November) shows that Britain's biggest supermarket is failing British apple growers by importing the vast majority of its apples at the height of the United Kingdom apple season.

Even with the increasing popularity of discount superstores among Bangkok residents, Belgium-based believes a tremendous opportunity remains for supermarkets in the capital.

The survey also revealed a poor show for UK apple sourcing overall, with nearly two thirds of apple lines on supermarket shelves sourced from overseas. Some apples had traveled around 20,000 km to reach english stores.

there was potential for up to 500 supermarkets to operate in Bangkok, or more than eight times the current number.

In comparison, local greengrocers included in the survey obtained half of their apple lines from the United Kingdom - and stocked a far more diverse range of apples. Somerfield was found to have the highest percentage of UK apples with 42 per cent followed by Sainsbury with 40 per cent.

Tops Supermarket and The Mall's Home Fresh Mart now operate a total of around 60 stores in Bangkok.

the rapid expansion of supermarkets was driving independent stores out of business, reducing the potential outlets for UK suppliers (2,000 independent stores closed in the last year alone ) and reducing consumer choice. The environmental campaign group is calling on the Government to take action to break up the supermarket monopoly and to set up an independent supermarket watchdog to protect both consumer and producer interests.

Independent market surveys showed that Bangkok could support a much larger base of supermarket stores. One branch was estimated to be able to support a two-square-kilometre area with 30,000 to 40,000 households.

The big supermarkets are using their market power to source cheap produce around the world, pushing UK growers and local shops out of business and also contributing to climate change. The Government must stop supermarkets abusing their powerful position. If this trend continues, British apples could end up as a niche market with the majority of apples coming from overseas.

"Even with the growth of discount stores, supermarket potential remains high as some customers want more convenience than entertainment. They don't want to buy one can of fish or a roll of tissue at a discount store. We think we have proved this successfully, given our profits at each branch.''

Most of the big stores were found to be promoting UK fruit, but the price promotions can damage growers, who are often expected to bear the cost of the promotion. UK growers continue to complain of profits which are "wafer thin." Over the last 10 years the amount of land covered by apple orchards has almost halved as a result of uncertainties over the market price

To strengthen its business, the company recently invested nearly eight million baht to renovate its existing outlet on Srinakarin Road, to be reopened on Nov 1

Under the new format, the sales space, product categories and atmosphere for shopping will be more friendly, ``like shopping at a wet market near home''.

The sales proportion of fresh food will be increased to 50%, compared with 30% now, out of total floor space of 1,600 square metres. The share of grocery products will be reduced to 50% from 70%.

``With the new concept, we can offer a greater variety of fresh foods. That will help differentiate us from the products sold at discount stores,''

Next year a similar number of new stores is planned with a total of 50 outlets to be operating in 2003, following an earlier projection.

Spending in the company's stores the first nine months of this year remained the same despite the economic downturn because the company sold food products that were daily essentials.

``We expect sales this year to grow by 50% from last year, a record since we were established in Thailand in 1997,''




S.N.I.W, Parc d'Innovation de la Haute Borne - Cité Scientifique - 4 rue Archimède - 59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France - Tel: - Fax: - E-mail: sniw@nordnet.fr

RCS.Lille : B391 438 009 _____Capital social : 158 635.70 €

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