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Stores near Bangkok rally sites boost stock
Publication Date : 15-01-2014
Restaurants and shopping malls at protest sites in key shopping areas are preparing to boost inventory to serve rising numbers of customers, most of whom appear to be demonstrators, after witnessing sales growth on Monday, the first day of the "Bangkok shutdown".
Sakchai Kengkijkosol, managing director for retail business at MBK Plc, operator of the MBK shopping centre, said many tenant vendors who specialise in products aimed at Thais, such as foods and beverages, snacks, mobile telephones, cameras and accessories, claimed to have seen a 2.5-fold increase in sales on Monday. Some stores ran out of merchandise.
However, some stores targeting foreigners, such as sellers of souvenirs, fashion products, apparel, bags and leather goods, saw sales decline on the day.
"We have informed tenants to boost their stock to serve higher demand, especially for fresh foods, beverages and snacks," Sakchai said. "We also talked with our suppliers of such goods as cooking gas about increasing their stock from three days' worth to seven days to serve the prolonged Bangkok shutdown demonstration."
Netithorn Praditsarn, director of corporate affairs at Big C Supercenter Plc, said the Big C store at Ratchadamri would be open as usual during the demonstration, and would be able to cater to the greater demand for products and services.
"We will also operate our online shopping service as normal, with delivery points changed from stores at rally locations to nearby locations," he said.
Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association members have launched promotional campaigns to draw visitors to the location.
In a statement, the group also asked for cooperation from the People’s Democratic Reform Committee to jointly manage traffic routes and security in the area.
Jetsada Niramitvijit, managing director of Zabbver Delivery, said the company had increased home-delivery staff by 20 per cent to serve the demand for such services during the shutdown. "The number of customers using our delivery call centre has increased by 30 per cent, while between 30-40 per cent of our network stores at demonstration sites have closed temporary."
Some consumers are avoiding dining out, while some protesters were using food-delivery services, he said.
MK Restaurant Group Plc saw average sales growth of 10 per cent year on year at its MK Suki restaurants on January 11 (Children's Day) to January 13. Many demonstrators were also visiting the restaurants, said executive vice president Pravit Tantivasinchai.