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Site of Tesco-Lotus development in north-central Phuket, near Thalang Hospital

Phuket Bid for Second Big Tesco-Lotus Outlet

Monday, September 20, 2010
DETAILS are expected to emerge next week about a new Tesco-Lotus development on 44 rai close to the Thalang intersection in Phuket's central-north region.

While Tesco-Lotus developers have earmarked only 1000 square metres for the supermarket and convenience store brand on the large property, the central building would be a spacious 20,000 metres.

The car park would hold 727 four-wheeled vehicles and 527 motorcycles, real estate proportions that rival Phuket's original Tesco-Lotus development, which opened in 1999 on the bypass road in Phuket City.

Rubber and pineapple plantations at present cover the large earmarked site, which is about 500 metres from the Thalang turnoff to Surin beach and Laguna Phuket, on Thepkasattri Road, Phuket's main backbone highway.

The Tesco-Lotus brand - with other brands, presumably - would sit on the corner of an existing road that leads to Thalang Hospital and is currently narrowed by a median strip of planter boxes, with no parking on either side of the road.

A preliminary meeting of the Phuket Governor's special committee on the environment, which now oversees all building approvals, was informed about the Tesco-Lotus proposal last week.

The meeting was told that in a survey of local people, 64.5 percent had agreed with the proposal, 10.2 percent disagreed, while the remainder had no opinion one way or the other.

Concerns about increases in traffic, noise close to the hospital, potential road hazards and opening hours are likely to be discussed when the full approvals committee meets next week.

The proposed site is 30 kilometres from the bypass road Tesco-Lotus, which was Phuket's first large supermarket and stores development.

With Phuket's villages now rapidly merging into a sprawling urban mass, supermarket and convenience store brands have spread rapidly in the past few years. Retailers are now in the process of filling in the gaps in Phuket's once less-developed central and northern regions.
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Comments

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I wish Phuket would stop this type of development. The island does not need another big box business squeezing out small Thai-owned markets. The whole island will soon be a giant strip-mall. Another Tesco is not needed.

Posted by doretta on September 20, 2010 14:47

Editor Comment:

Doretta, there are two sides to this. Old-timers have told Phuketwan that they wasted the best part of a day every week shopping at different stores for different kinds of items before the supermarket came along. Even today, some people would probably starve to death without processed food and a shopping trolley. Entire homogenised modern cultures come in cans. How could you have progress without supermarkets?

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I am torn, when I think Teso/Lotus I don't think grocery store. In fact, if it were just a grocery store, I probably would not be having this knee-jerk reaction. What I see is a monster corporation low-balling every small business around with it's buying power. They sell underwear and shampoo, movies and stationary, TV's and rice cookers, pretty much everything. My Thai friends love a bargain, as do we all, but at what cost? I am so sorry to sound alarmist, but it smells like walmart to me, and that stinks! PS: I am a small business owner, perhaps that explains a bit of my sensitivity. Thanks for the wonderful reporting.

Posted by Doretta on September 20, 2010 17:03

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My concern is of a more particular nature. Traffic. The entrance to the hospital is down a ridiculously narrow soi at the Talang lights or just after the pedestrian overpass and library on the southern end of Talang.

How will the traffic flow be addressed?

Posted by Charles on September 21, 2010 16:48

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Perfect, with a Lotus north of Phuket, we will have less traffic jam on ByPass road.

Hope other supermarkets will follow....

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 21, 2010 19:39

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To the contributors who question how this will affect local business I can reply - very little. An example of a Tesco Lotus elsewhere in Thailand ( 50km outside Chiang Mai) - there were complaints that it would disrupt local businesses (there happens to be an organised movement to protest every new store announcement btw).

This was not the case as people continued to use the local markets and other shops. The people who WERE affected were the wholesalers who had been ripping off these shops for years. many local shops now go to the Tesco/Lotus to stock up on oil, fish sauce, etc and then sell them on to their customer at a lower price than the wholesalers and STILL make a profit.

The trucks that drive up into the hills to sell to the hilltribes also stock up on the cheaper goods - its only those with vested interests that lose out. On the other hand Khun Somchai's little shop is not going to be afffected if the Smiths, Browns, Gustaffsons and Breznevs go to Tesco's as they are unlikely to grace him with their business anyway.

There is a demand for a second large shop at that end of the island and it will pull some traffic away from the bypass, as pointed out above.

Posted by Mister Ree on September 22, 2010 22:33

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That proposed Tesco won't be supplying decent western food if the Bang Tao branch is any indicator. Can't even get a decent tomato paste without mackerel in it. Big One is best for foreigners craving familiar groceries.

Posted by Ripley on September 23, 2010 09:09

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HIGH CLASS SHOPPINK ! High class shoppink!... Tesco Locust speakers shriek incessantly. Annoying ! And always the boxes in the too thin aisles with the workers who act as if you're
in their way.
Stock the shelves after closing.
Good place to go if you're dieting, the sight of doughnuts laying entirely exposed directly at the public entrance is beyond gross.
Big One up the street is 1/10 the size with 10 times the foreign food.

Posted by Ripley on September 24, 2010 09:26

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Dear Editor,
could you give us an update on what they actually building now next to Thalang hospital. Some people say, it is going to be a Tesco and some say that they are moving Supercheap up here. Thanks in advance.

Posted by Becky on March 4, 2011 22:14

Editor Comment:

We've covered that. It's a Tesco, similar in size to the original Tesco in Phuket City. At least, that was the original plan.


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