Connect with us


Protesters rally against third Tesco

Legacy Phuket Gazette



WICHIT: Some 50 protesters gathered at Phuket Provincial Office on December 26 to protest the construction of a new Tesco-Lotus branch on Chao Fa East Rd, which if completed would become the retail juggernaut’s third branch on the island.

The protesters, some of whom are vendors at the Moom Muang market near the proposed project site, converged at Provincial Hall about 2 pm.

In the absence of Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit or any of his deputies, the complaint was accepted by Governor’s Office chief Rapeeput Na Nakhon.

Wisate Sabaijit, acting Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) of Wichit Municipality, told the Gazette that on September 5 Tesco-Lotus was granted permission to build the new retail center, which will be located on a long, narrow plot along the inbound land of Chao Fa East Rd in Wichit, several hundred meters south of the PTT service station.

The project will cover a total land area of 1,729 square meters, he said.

All the required procedures had been adhered to and a building permit was issued by his office on that day. As such, there is now no legal basis under which construction can now be stopped, he said.

However, local residents say they will continue to protest the project. Retired local resident Sunanta Iam-anancharoen said the project would have a negative impact on the livelihoods of vendors at Moom Muang market and other small businesspeople in the area.

K. Sunantha told the Gazette that the recent opening of the controversial Laguna Tesco-Lotus Market Cherng Talay, in Thalang, against strong local opposition was a bad sign.

Although a complaint had since been filed with the Administrative Court over its legality, the Cherng Talay Tesco opened just in time to take advantage of brisk holiday season sales.

The first Tesco-Lotus branch in Phuket opened with great success at Samkong Intersection on the bypass road in October 1999. Numerous other large retailers have opened on the island since then, especially along the bypass road, with little or no public opposition.

A source at the Tesco-Lotus Corporate Affairs Department declined to comment on the new store at that time, but said the retailer would issue a statement soon.

Construction on the project is now in the land-clearing phase.

Nationally, Tesco-Lotus and rival retailer Big C have both refused to comply with the Commerce Ministry’s proposal to regulate modern retail expansion in the absence of the country’s first retail and wholesale business law.

The Commerce Ministry on December 26 called for a meeting with retailers and suppliers to seek agreement on temporary regulations to end the conflicts between big and small players.

While other retail giants agreed with the proposal, Tesco-Lotus and Big C were the only two to find fault with some of the regulations. They said the rules must be changed, as some details were too restrictive for chains wanting to expand.

The other participants – Cencar, the operator of Carrefour; Siam Makro and CP All, the operator of 7-Eleven – all accepted the draft regulations.

Among the restrictions under the ministry’s draft memorandum of understanding (MoU), giant retail outlets – hypermarkets, supercenters, discount stores and cash-and-carry stores – must be located at least 12 kilometers from a city center and serve a population of 100,000. Supermarkets must be five kilometers from a city center with a population greater than 50,000.

The MoU aims to create a fair framework for big and small retailers as well as suppliers after the retail business bill failed to be passed into law by the NLA during its term.

The ministry asked all firms to decide again whether they would consent to the agreement, for which a signing ceremony is scheduled for the middle of next month.

Yangyong Phuangrach, director-general of the ministry’s Internal Trade Department, said all retailers should respond positively to the regulations since that would lead to better understanding between small and large operators.

“Only Tesco and Big C seemed to oppose the regulations,” he said.

“If large retailers comply with the regulations, small retailers must halt their protests against large enterprises,” he said, adding that suppliers should also treat both retail giants and small operators with fair practices.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Myanmar1 hour ago

Myanmar’s economy to shrink by 18% due to military coup and Covid-19

Singapore3 hours ago

Singapore plans to vaccinate 80%, reopen with quarantine-free travel by September

Thailand4 hours ago

Pattaya suspects arrested for live streaming breaking curfew

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand5 hours ago

Sinovac/AstraZeneca highly effective, according to Thai research

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket vice governor says “Sandbox” tourists aren’t scared off by Covid situation

Thailand5 hours ago

Ministry of Education seeks 21.6 billion education subsidy

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

The ‘infodemic’ – interview with Helen Petousis-Harris about Covid misinformation

Best of7 hours ago

Phuket’s 8 Best Rooftop Bars

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Ayutthaya logs 255 new infections, hospital beds full

Thailand7 hours ago

Another “monkey war” in Lop Buri, hundreds fight in the street- VIDEO

Thailand8 hours ago

Plantations International provides Pattaya with provisions

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Monday UPDATE: 15,376 new infections, Provincial report

Thailand9 hours ago

Thai baht goes from top-performing to worst-hit currency in Asia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Covid train cancelled, SRT cites lack of passengers

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Government submits proposal to allow department store restaurants to sell food online

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8