Most expats don’t like Big C supermarkets in Thailand. Their products are low-quality, their selection is poor and, if you can find any western product at all, it must be Christmas. Now, it’s just been announced Big C’s parent company, French-owned Casino, has just bought all the Carrefour stores in Thailand for an estimated $1.2 billion. Bad news for expats, as Carrefour was one of the few good supermarkets in Thailand with consistently high-quality items, lots of western food choices, well-trained staff and clean stores.
Let’s hope Casino doesn’t just install a whole lot more Big C supermarkets in place of the old Carrefours, as they’ll lose customers in droves. Nobody wants yet more supermarkets that are low-quality, not too clean, have terrible bakery, meat and deli departments and play loud music with loud promotional recordings – if that happens, I’ll be one of the many ex-Carrefour customers who’ll be taking the sky train downtown three times a week to Siam Paragon to shop at their supermarket instead. Now THEY know how to run a good supermarket.
Of course, we can always hope Casino will simply run old Carrefour supermarkets just like before – with a wide range of western products, good promotions and high-quality items. If they have any sense – they will.