|Sompong Rungnirattisai, CEO|
|Products||Food and sundry items|
|Owner||Ek-Chai Distribution System Co. (Operator)|
Tesco Lotus is a hypermarket chain in Thailand operated by Ek-Chai Distribution System Co., Ltd. Tesco Lotus started from the Lotus Supercenter chain started in 1994 by the Charoen Pokphand (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.
Tesco Lotus stores currently operate in five formats: Extra, Hypermarket, Department Store, Talad, and Express. Extra, Hypermarket, and Department store formats sell fresh food, prepared foods, and grocery offerings as well as a non-food offerings including electrical appliances, apparel, toys, stationery, and household goods. Talad ('market') is a "supermarket format" selling mainly groceries. 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 large car parks. Tesco Lotus also offers a range of retail and financial services including bill payment, personal loans (Tesco Premier), a Tesco Visa credit card, and a Tesco insurance broker. Most recently, in April 2013, Tesco Lotus introduced online shopping. As of early-2018, Tesco Lotus's total retail floor space stood at 1.4 million m2. In August it opened store number 2,000 in Thailand. Its biggest competitor in the Thai market is Big C.
As of December 2019[update], Tesco Lotus had 1,967 stores in Thailand under the Tesco Lotus brand: 1,600 Tesco Lotus Express stores and about 400 other stores in hypermarket, Talad, and department store formats. Two hypermarkets opened in 2019, two more are being constructed, and 50 Tesco Lotus Express stores will open in the second-half of 2019.
On 9 March 2020, Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group submitted the winning bid to purchase Tesco Lotus, for about US$10 billion. The purchase needs the approval of Thailand's Office of Trade Competition Commission (OTCC) as the new company could constitute a monopoly, given that CP already owns 7-Eleven convenience stores and the Makro cash-and-carry business.
Animal welfare concerns
The NGO, World Animal Protection, reported that Tesco Lotus uses sow stalls in their pork production process. The practice confines sows in cages no bigger than a refrigerator in order to use them as "breeding machines". Sow stalls have been banned in the UK since 1999 as well as in other jurisdictions. World Animal Protection succeeded in persuading Charoen Pokphand Foods, a major Thai pork producer, to get mother pigs out of cages in their Thai operations by 2025.
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 nine 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 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.
- "About Us". Tesco-Lotus. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- Jitpleecheep, Pitsinee (5 September 2019). "Tesco Lotus marks 25th year with goals". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- Jitpleecheep, Pitsinee (24 August 2018). "Tesco fetes 2,000th store with growth plan". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- Jolly, Jasper (8 December 2019). "Tesco weighs up sale of Thai and Malaysian stores". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "CP Group lands $10bn Tesco deal". Bangkok Post. 10 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
- "Tesco urged to drop use of sow stalls in its Thai operations". Farming UK. 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-05-16.