Southeast Asia: Tesco uses price to fight Thai rule on shorter hours

BANGKOK: UK-based retailing giant Tesco Lotus is banking on a 10 million baht (US$242,178) discount campaign to help counter the effects of weak consumer sentiment and shorter operating hours.

The '2 for' promotion offers discounts of five to 37 per cent to customers buying doubles from a range of 1,500 household essentials. The company expects this to result in total consumer savings of 45 million baht in just over three weeks.

"Our customers tell us they need to save more money when they shop, particularly as the cost of living is rising in many other areas such as petrol and energy costs," said vice-president for marketing Winattha Nipawong.

The '2 for' promotion allows the consumer to save via the discounts offered, and also from fewer trips to the hypermarket, thus "helping the country to save petrol", she said.

Tesco Lotus has itself had to slash operating hours as the Thai government strives to rationalise energy use amid rising oil prices.

The promotion is being backed by press, radio and TV advertising, as well as events featuring Thai celebrity twins Fundee and Funden. It is running concurrently with Tesco's ongoing Price Roll Back programme, aimed at maintaining the company's "price leadership" in a very competitive market.

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