|Traded as||SET: BIGC|
|Thailand, Vietnam, Laos|
|Mr. Akani Thapthimthong, Chairman
Mr. Robert James Cissell, CEO
|Products||Discount Stores, Grocery Stores, Hypermarkets|
|Revenue||118,177 million baht (FY2013)|
|6,976 million baht (FY2013)|
Number of employees
Big C, or Big C Supercenter (Thai: บิ๊กซี ซูเปอร์เซ็นเตอร์), is a grocery and general merchandising retailer headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. Big C is now (2016) Thailand's second-largest hypermarket operator after Tesco Lotus's Thai unit. It has operations in three countries, namely Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Big C and its subsidiaries operated 697 stores in Thailand as of September 2015. The company posted a net profit of US$38 million for the third quarter ending in September 2015, down 14.5 percent over the same period last year.
Central Group opened the Central Superstore at the Wong Sawang intersection in 1993 as a Central Department Store subsidiary. It began selling groceries from Central Supermarket and private label clothing from Central Department Store and Central Trading, under the self-service store concept. The Big C brand was first launched on 15 January 1994, the name being an abbreviation of "Big Central". The first Big C store was opened on Chaengwattana Road in Bangkok.
Save One Rangsit was changed to the Big C Supercenter in 1995, and was the chain's first store outside Bangkok. The same year, Central Superstore Company Limited changed its name to Big C Supercenter Public Company Limited, and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) (SET: BIGC) with S.K. Garment PLC holding a majority stake.
Big C launched the single floor store concept at Bangphlee in 1996, integrating a super center 12,000 m2 floor space and a layout and decor to facilitate shopping. The efficient design contributed to lower operating costs.
Merger with Groupe Casino
After the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Big C Supercenter PCL formed a business alliance with France-based Groupe Casino, known for its Géant stores. Groupe Casino bought 530 million shares of a capital increase in 1999, making them the largest shareholder after the company's recapitalization. After securing the controlling stake in Big C, Groupe Casino sold Big C's garment business in order to concentrate only on retail activity to strengthen the efficiency of the operation.
Big C extended its business hours from 08:00 to midnight daily and launched the Big C website in 2000. Two years later, Big C launched a hard-discount supermarket chain, "Leader Price by Big C", an affiliate store similar to the Leader Price brand of Groupe Casino. In the same year, Big C launched its first credit card, "Big C Credit Card", and "Big C Hire-Purchase". Big C Foundation (Thai: มูลนิธิบิ๊กซี) was also launched in 2002, with its main objectives including providing necessary assistance and support for children in terms of education, and offering opportunities for education to those suffering as a result of social abuses or the drug trade.
Big C developed and expanded the "Compact Store" store concept in 2005. Compact Stores each require an investment of between 300 and 400 million baht, and have an average retail space of 5,000-6,000 square metres, whereas Big C's standard stores have retail space of about 10,000 square metres and require an investment of between 600-700 million baht. In May 2005, the "Big C Shopper Card" was launched, which was a hire-purchase card.
In 2006, Leader Price by Big C was remodeled into "Mini Big C" (Thai: มินิบิ๊กซี), a proximity store format offering 24-hour service. Big C launched yet another new brand store format in July 2010 called "Big C Junior" (Thai: บิ๊กซี จูเนียร์), which is sized midway between a compact store and a supermarket.
"Big C" was used for the first time outside Thailand at the end of 2003, with the rebranding of three Cora hypermarkets in Vietnam. The stores were owned by Vindemia, a Groupe Bourbon company in Réunion. Casino took control of Vindemia, and the Big C Supercenter banner is used for these stores.
Acquisition of Carrefour in Thailand
In November 2010, Big C won a bid to buy the 42 Carrefour branches in Thailand for €868 million (35.4 billion baht). After the acquisition, Groupe Casino, whose Thai subsidiary is Big C Supercenter PCL, owned 111 hypermarkets versus Tesco's 87. However, if other retail formats are included, Tesco is larger with some 704 stores nationwide.
Big C and Carrefour branches in Thailand had their first co-promotion in January 2011, before Carrefour Thailand stores were rebranded as Big C. And in March 2011, Carrefour Suwintawong was the first Carrefour store to be rebranded as a Big C.
Divestment by Groupe Casino
Groupe Casino SA agreed in February 2016 to sell its stake in Thai hypermarket operator Big C for €3.1 billion (US$3.46 billion) to Thai billionaire, Mr Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. His holding company, TCC Group, will buy Casino's 58.6 percent stake in Big C Thailand for 252.88 baht a share (US$7.10), a price that values Big C close to US$5.86 billion. The sale, expected to completed by 31 March, will allow Casino to reduce its debt level by €3.3 billion. The retailer launched a €4 billion deleveraging plan in 2016 which included selling its stake in Big C as well as Vietnam retail assets.
- Big C Supercenter (Thai: บิ๊กซี) A Big C Supercenter is a hypermarket targeting mid-to-low income customers offering value through combination of low prices, wide selection, clean and efficient shopping environment, and good service.:10 There are 105 Big C Supercenters in Thailand as of 2016.
- Big C Extra (Thai: บิ๊กซี เอ็กซ์ตร้า) is a hypermarket targeting mid- to high-income customers. It offers a wider range of premium fresh and dry food items, imported products, and wine than a Big C Supercenter.:10. There are 15 Big C Extra stores in Thailand (2016).
- Big C Jumbo (Thai: บิ๊กซี จัมโบ้) is a hybrid hypermarket/wholesale store targeting wholesale and retail customers and large families.:10 There are two Big C Jumbo stores in Thailand (2016).
- Big C Market (Thai: บิ๊กซี มาเก็ต) is a supermarket format, targeting mid- to low-income customer. The smaller size of a Big C Market enables penetration in areas outside the main district of a province. It is designed to be the largest modern retailer in its service area. The stores differ from traditional supermarkets that concentrate mainly on food by offering a range of products from fresh food to electronics.:10 As of 2016, there are 31 Big C Markets scattered around Thailand.
- Mini Big C (Thai: มินิบิ๊กซี) Mini Big C is a "proximity store" format targeting mid- to low-income customers. Mini Big C stores carry a larger assortment than typical convenience stores and offer selected promotional items.:11 The average size of a Mini Big C store is around 80–250 m2, open 24/7. There are 394 Mini Big C stores in Thailand (2016).
- Pure by Big C (Thai: เพียว บาย บิ๊กซี) is a drugstore format offering pharmaceutical, health, beauty, and wellness products. Most of Pure drugstores are in Big C hypermarkets and Big C Markets.:11 There are 134 Pure outlets in Thailand (2016).
Laos and Vietnam stores
Big C has 34 stores throughout Vietnam.
- "History". Big C. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- "Message from the Chairman". Big C. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- Big C; Annual and CSR Report 2014 (PDF). Bangkok: Big C. 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "About Big C IR Home". Retrieved 2015-08-14.
- Kostov, Nick (2016-02-07). "Groupe Casino to sell stake in Thai grocer Big C". MarketWatch. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "About Big C Foundataion". Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "BigC Compact Stores News". The Nation. Retrieved 2005-11-10.[dead link]
- Big C (22 September 2011). "Clarifying news regarding investment in Lao" (PDF). Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Big C to open shopping complex in Vientiane". National Authority for Science and Technology of Laos. Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Big C To Open Shopping Complex At New Talat Sao Mall". J&C Expat Services. Archived from the original on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "บิ๊กซี"ทุ่มปักธง บุกค้าปลีกลาว โกย500ล้าน/ปี. Prachachart Business (in Thai). 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- "Big C wins bid to buy 42 Carrefour branches". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "Big C Stores". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Big C Extra Stores". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Big C Jumbo Stores". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Big C Market Stores". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Mini Big C". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Pure by Big C". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- "Your Nearest Store". Big C Supercenter. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
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