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Leading retailers ensure supplies through distribution alternatives

Major retailers have adjusted their logistics and distribution strategies to ensure their stores do not run out of essential commodities during the flood crisis.

Suwit Kingkaew, senior vice president of CP All, operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, said the company had temporarily opened about 100 small distribution centres in shophouses throughout metropolitan Bangkok.

It has also encouraged small suppliers to stock stores with necessary goods to avoid product shortages.

So far, more than 300 7-Eleven stores in Bangkok and outskirts, including Thon Buri, Min Buri, Nong Chok, Lat Krabang, and Lam Luk Ka in Pathum Thani, have closed temporarily. The company operates more than 6,000 convenience stores throughout the Kingdom.

“Our two major distribution centres in the Central region, at Bang Bua Thong and Suvarnabhumi, have been closed because of the flood, which has blocked all transport routes in and out of the centres,” Suwit said.

The company is seeking new suppliers of necessary goods to replace those whose plants have been damaged by flooding, he said.

The company has also urged its suppliers to deliver products directly to 7-Eleven stores or to representative 7-Eleven branches, which will be responsible for transferring the products to other convenience stores in their area.

Meanwhile, Tesco Lotus has opened a temporary warehouse at Bitec Bang Na to supply essential consumer goods to more than 900 stores throughout the country.

The company has shut down its head office on Nawamin Road temporarily since last Thursday and allowed all 1,500 office staff to work from their homes without any salary reduction. Only executives have been moved to the temporary office and distribution centre at Bitec.

“During this crisis, the company will use this temporary centre to process up to 500,000 cases of products a day next week, up from the current daily capacity of about 300,000 cases,” said operations director James Scott.

The 20,000-square-metre exhibition hall at Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre was modified last week to become a storage facility for daily necessities including water, instant noodles and canned fish. It will be in service for 20 days while the company restores its two key distribution centres in Ayutthaya’s Wang Noi district and Nonthaburi’s Bang Bua Thong district by next month. They were both severely hit by the run-off.

The company has also set up emergency hubs in Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Khon Kaen and Surat Thani while using diverse transport modes such as trains, trucks and planes.

Kudatara Nagaviroj, director of corporate affairs at Big C Supercenter, said the company had closed four hypermarkets at Nava Nakorn, Bangyai, Klong 3 in Pathum Thani, and Rangsit (opposite the Zeer shopping mall).

“The massive flood has caused a temporary closure of our major distribution centre in Wang Noi, which is now in the process of restoration. About 30 containers of products were retrieved from our centre in Wang |Noi over the weekend, and the company will continue to retrieve more containers from the distribution centre.”

Kudatara said the company had set up temporary distribution and cross-docking sites to serve their own regions throughout the Kingdom, including at Lampang for the Northern region, at Khon Kaen and Ubon Ratchathani for the Northeast, and Krabi for the South.

He said the company also had four distribution centres and cross-docking sites in Chon Buri, as well as at Hemaraj Industrial Complex and in Bang Pakong, Chachoengsao. Those sites will distribute products to the company’s stores in Bangkok and outskirts, and the Eastern and Western regions of Thailand.

The company has also set up a temporary distribution centre for fresh foods in Chon Buri.

Phattaraporn Phenpraphat, vice president for marketing and public relations of Central Food Retail, operator of Tops supermarkets, said the company had closed 25 supermarkets in Bangkok and outskirts, including in Rangsit, Vibhavadee-Rangsit, and Paholyothin because of the massive flood.

The company operates 212 Tops supermarkets throughout the Kingdom.

“We have joined with the government by using its central distribution centre at Hemaraj Industrial Complex in Chon Buri in distributing essential commodity products to our stores. We have also appointed DHL to be in charge of distributing products directly to the stores,” Phattaraporn said.

Source: The Nation

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