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Why I’ve Stopped Shopping at Tesco Lotus in Bangkok: Rotting Vegetables, Poor Stock

empty tesco lotus aisles
Lunchtime in Bangkok at Tesco Lotus — almost every aisle completely empty. Why? Because all the customers are down the road shopping at Tops.


Let’s face it, the only decent yet affordable supermarket Thailand ever had was Carrefour. But they shut up shop and left a couple of years ago, leaving us with the appallingly awful Big C and the, now, even worse Tesco Lotus in Bangkok.The only two reasons I’ve shopped at Tesco at all is it’s relatively close to my house and things like electric fans are cheap but, as of this week, I’ve stopped shopping at Tesco Lotus completely and here’s why.

Quality of Tesco Lotus Fruit and Vegetables

I’ve never seen worse fruit and vegetables in Thailand than at Tesco Lotus. Their vegetables especially have to be the worst vegetables in Thailand. Old, rotting, but doused in water so they at least ‘look’ fresh, until you get them home and they immediately start to turn brown.

As for something as simple as potatoes, the same seven old, shriveled potatoes were still sitting there today, just like they were four days ago. Fresh produce? Not a chance.

Add on that they are double the price of anything I can buy at my local fresh market and many days older and, no, I won’t be buying vegetables at Tesco Lotus any more.

Tesco Lotus in Bangkok’s Inability to Keep Items in Stock

If I do my twice weekly shop at Tesco Lotus in Bangkok, I can guarantee items I need will not be in stock. Now, I’m not talking about hard-to-find things or imported products. I’m talking about items like bread, milk, tissues and cookies.

Today, my local Tesco was out of stock of brown bread. It also didn’t have the brand of tissues I buy, the box of Thai-brand cookies I like, or the size of non-fat milk I needed. I walked down the street to Tops — surprise, they had everything.

For some bizarre reason, Tesco Lotus seems to have an inability to keep the most basic items in stock. That’s why, as of today, I’ll no longer set foot in Tesco not when I have to go to two supermarkets to get all the items on my list — and not when I can buy everything I need across the street at Tops. Things might be more expensive, but at least they have them.

Wet Floors at Tesco Lotus

In the last few months, I’ve fallen twice at Tesco Lotus. Both times because their staff did not mop up water that had been spilled on the floor. Now I don’t expect to go shopping and almost break my leg, because incompetent staff don’t do their jobs properly. So that’s another good reason not to shop there.

Tops, Villa Market and Gourmet Market on the other hand, are all impeccably clean and well-taken care of with no pools of water to be seen. These supermarkets are where I’ll be shopping in future.

Expensive Parking Charges at Tesco Lotus in Bangkok

The last straw for me was going shopping at a Tesco Lotus in Bangkok with a Thai friend.

She had driven to my house to pick me up and, as we were heading to a local mall to shop before we did our weekly shopping at Tesco, we left her car parked in the Tesco Lotus parking lot. All told, her car was parked there for about seven hours. Over three hours of which we were eating at Tesco’s food court and shopping at the supermarket.

Between the two of us, we spent over 3,500 baht at the Tesco Lotus supermarket and 300 baht at the food court yet, when we went to get the parking card validated we were told that we couldn’t.

Parking costs for the time her car had spent at the Tesco Lotus parking lot? Almost 300 baht. Needless to say, she didn’t park there again……and neither has she done any shopping there either.

Tesco Lotus in Bangkok is a company that does not do a very good job when it comes to providing good quality products at an inexpensive price. It also has some of the most poorly taken care of stores, and some of the most incompetent staff. That’s why I’ve decided I’ve stopped shopping at Tesco Lotus permanently and will now be taking my business elsewhere.

Then again, if you look at how empty the aisles are at Tesco Lotus most days, I’m obviously not the only one. After all, everyone in my neighborhood seems to be at Tops.


empty tesco lotus aisles 2
Next aisle over — no people there either. In fact, at 12:15pm, almost every aisle in the entire Tesco Lotus store was the same.