|Products||Shopping centers, Hypermarkets|
Tesco Lotus started from the Lotus Supercenter chain started in 1994 by the Charoen Pokphand (henceforth "CP") Group with the first store opening in Seacon Square. In 1998, the British supermarket chain Tesco took a stake to create "Tesco Lotus". CP Group sold most of its shares in Tesco Lotus in 2003. CP operates a chain of "Lotus Supercenters" in China which have a similar logo to the old Tesco Lotus logo, although the companies are not connected.
Tesco Lotus stores currently operate in five formats: Extra, Hypermarket, Department Store, Talad and Express. Extra, Hypermarket and Department store formats have an extensive fresh food, ambient food and grocery offer as well as a non-food offer including electrical appliances, apparel, toys, stationery and household goods. Talad is a "supermarket format" selling mainly groceries and Express is a convenience "mini-supermarket" format. Many of the products on the shelf are Tesco house brand products.
The bigger stores are often set in Malls and have food courts and many other shops and stalls available as well as a large car park. Temperatures are kept at a relatively cool 26C. Tesco Lotus also offers a range of retail and financial services including bill payment, personal loans (Tesco Premier), a Tesco Visa credit card and as Tesco General Insurance Broker, a range of insurance products. Most recently, in April 2013, Tesco Lotus introduced online shopping.
Tesco Lotus operates 1,400 stores of which 1,100 are Express stores. Its biggest competitor in the Thai market is Big C.
Tesco Lotus has operated the Tesco for Thais Foundation since 2003 which has presented over 27,000 scholarships to needy children around the country, and runs programs for undergraduates which include in-store training. The company is also part of a major reforestation program, "Plant 9 Million Trees", which completed its 9 million trees target in 2013. In line with the rest of Tesco group, Tesco Lotus is pledged to reduce carbon emissions from its business operations and opened the first "Zero Carbon Store" in Asia at Bangpra, Chonburi in November 2011.
In late 2007 and early 2008, Tesco Lotus sued three of its critics for libel. It lost the case against Jit Siratranont, former MP and now vice-general secretary of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, dropped the case against newspaper columnist Kamol Kamoltrakul on the grounds of his ill-health and obtained a written apology from a newspaper business editor Nongnart Harnvilai.