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Retail sector in Thailand - statistics & facts

Thailand is one of the most economically thriving countries in Southeast Asia. With a population of almost seventy million as of 2021, Thailand’s streets, especially in Bangkok, are full of prosperous local businesses and well-known modern retailers to satisfy potential consumers. Thailand’s retail industry is constantly evolving and improving to respond to the growing demand from consumers where convenience seems to be the key. The wholesale and retail sector, with the vehicle maintenance and household goods sector, contributed around 2.7 trillion Thai baht to the GDP in Thailand in recent years. This was a good indication of the GDP contribution the retail sector in Thailand had to offer. Although, after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the retail businesses in Thailand were negatively affected, resulting in a 12 percent contraction in 2020.

Major retail segments in Thailand

Various segments are contributing to Thailand’s retail market. The food and beverage industry is undoubtedly one of the biggest retail segments in Thailand. In fact, the sales value of retail businesses within the foodservice sector were forecast to increase in the next few years. Other crucial retail segments, such as electronics and appliances, also support the growth of the retail sector in Thailand. Thai people are keen on new technologies and trendy gadgets. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic when being economical was crucial and even necessary, electronics were still on demand among Thai consumers. Some consumers expected to spend more on electronics in 2023.

The shift in traditional trade to modern trade

As the demand for products increased, Thai consumers were changing the way they purchase products. Traditional trading at markets and small independent businesses was being replaced with modern trading to satisfy the needs of consumers. Types of modern retailers in Thailand include provision stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and discount markets. These modern retailers are seen and accessible all over Thailand. In 2021, provision stores and convenience stores held the largest share of FMCG distributing channels in the country. Although modern trade has become a preferred channel for retailers, e-commerce platforms have started to grow popularity among both sellers and buyers for consumer goods in Thailand, especially during COVID-19 pandemic.

Key player in the retail sector in Thailand

The retail sector in Thailand is highly competitive and numerous retail companies compete for a piece of the market. As clearly seen, the biggest player in the retail sector in Thailand was CP All Public Company Limited, generating a sales revenue of approximately 190 billion Thai baht in 2021. CP All is the owner of the most distributed and well-known convenience store in Thailand, 7-Eleven, which takes up the majority of the convenience stores in Thailand. The total number of 7 Eleven outlets in Thailand amounted to over 12 thousand in 2020.

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