Tesco Lotus expands online shopping services
“Click and Collect” allows buyers to pickup in store
Tesco Lotus announces its new online shopping
service and Click and Collect which allows Chiang Mai shoppers to order online
and pick up in-store.
Tesco Lotus is expanding its popular online shopping service upcountry,
starting with Pattaya and Chiang Mai. The retailer is enabling shoppers to order
online and pick up from the local store with its new “Click and Collect” option.
“Customers in Bangkok love the Tesco Lotus Online Shopping service we started 6
months ago,” said Tesco Lotus Marketing Director Wanna Swuddigul. “They have
told us Tesco Lotus Online Shopping service makes their lives more convenient
and saves them time and money on travel. Customers also enjoy a wide range of
fresh food and grocery products available for them to choose online at Tesco
“With the positive feedback we have continued to add our Online Shopping service
capacity in Bangkok and are now expanding the service upcountry, starting with
Pattaya and Chiang Mai before rolling out to other big cities in Thailand soon.”
Tesco Lotus Online Shopping is the premier destination for fresh food and
grocery shopping in Thailand with over 20,000 product lines on offer. Tesco
Lotus remains the only retailer in the country that offers online ordering and
delivery of fresh food. It uses specially designed vans with separate
compartments for frozen products, chilled products and non-perishable groceries
for delivery to customers’ doorsteps.
After choosing products online, the customer can pick one of six delivery
timeslots available from 10 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week. For customers who would
like to pick up their shopping by themselves, Click and Collect service will be
available from 6 November 2013 starting at Extra Ramindra store.
“All online shopping orders are sorted by our professionally trained Personal
Shoppers who seek out the freshest produce and longest expiry dates just like
our customers would do. The shopping will then be delivered to customers’
doorsteps based on the specified time slot or customers can collect the items at
selected Tesco Lotus store,” said Khun Wanna.
Tesco Group now offers Online Shopping service in 10 countries, including South
Korea, Malaysia, China, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic,
the UK and Thailand which have together grown sales by 54% over the last six
“Online Shopping is a part of Tesco Lotus strategy to grow our business through
multi-formats. Apart from online service expansion we continue on our plan to
open around 300 new stores this year across all formats including Extra,
Hypermarket, Department Store, Talad and Express. Our comprehensive set of store
formats will help us meet the needs of various consumer groups and changing
lifestyles,” concluded Khun Wanna.
Wine Connection continues to grow in Chiang Mai
New bistro in Central Festival
A plethora of Japanese and Korean restaurants in Central
Festival makes Wine Connection’s new Bistro style restaurant on the 1st
floor one of the few truly Western restaurants there. The bistro is
offering pasta, pizzas, and mains such as steaks, pork chops, lamb and
more. As part of the grand opening they are offering specials such as
Australian sirloin for 249 baht every day from 5 p.m., pizza and a coke
or pasta and a coke for 149 baht valid until 6 p.m. daily. Additionally
you can order off their wine menu or get a bottle from the shop (minimum
price 500 baht) to drink with your meal.
Wine Connection has two shops, one at Nim City and another at Meechoke
Plaza as well as a deli and wine shop at Promenada Resort Mall. The
Central Festival bistro takes after their Bangkok style bistros that
have proved very popular. The reasonably priced menu, casual comfortable
restaurant and outdoor dining make the restaurant unusual in Central
Festival, said Marketing Manager Noppawan Somchit. She noted that while
they still cannot sell alcohol between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. guests are
welcome to order and pay for their wine before 2 p.m.
K. Noppawan also added that the bistro offers take home cheeses to go
with a large selection of wine, noting that the staff can also offer
wine recommendations for customers. The new bistro is open daily during
mall hours; 11:00 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m.
– 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
4th Chiang Mai Jazz in the
City Festival brings in tourists
The 4th Annual Chiang Mai Jazz Festival will
be held January 18 and 19, 2014 at Nim City Daily, attracting tourists
to the city for the event.
The 4th Annual Chiang Mai Jazz in the City Festival, in
cooperation with Nim City Daily and the Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, the Chiang Mai Tourism Business
Association, AIA Limited Company and AIS, will be held on January 18 and
19, 2014 at Nim City Daily.
The Festival aims to promote tourism to Chiang Mai by promoting the
cultural and musical advantages of the city as well as raise funds for
charity and sustainable development. The event, which plays a key role
in the TAT calendar, attracts jazz musicians from around the world. This
year 1,500 people are expected to bring Jazz Bacanus, Del Ritmo,
Terdthai Chainiyom, Koh Mr.Saxman, and Ben Chalatit will play January18
while Hug Jazz, Kai Pannipa, Deep O Sea and Two Popetorn will perform on
Technology access for the disabled, disadvantaged and elderly from NBTC
The National Broadcasting and
Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) held their last in a series of
public seminars at the Empress Hotel on December 12, 2013 to receive
comments and suggestions on promoting and supporting facilities for
technology access for the disabled, elderly and disadvantaged. Thakorn
Tantasit, NBTC Secretary General, presided over the seminar which was
organized in two other provinces to assess services for the
disadvantaged and protect their rights as consumers.
Suvarnabhumi Airport ticket sales moved to 6th floor
Suvarnabhumi Airport has relocated its airline ticket sales
counters to the 6th floor in order to allow more space inside
the departure terminal. Suvarnabhumi Airport General Manager
Rawewan Netrakavesna said that airline ticket sales booths have
been moved from the 4th to the 6th floor in a bid to increase
space in the departure hall of the terminal building.
Ms Rawewan said the relocation will allow an extra 900 square
metres of space for the increasing number of passengers using
the airport, a passenger density which tends to be as high as
130,000 persons a day during the annual peak season between
October and March.
Up to 54 airline ticket vendors including Emirates, Japan
Airlines, China Airlines, Bangkok Airways and many more are now
located on upper floor following the relocation. (MCOT online
The Top 10 Hidden Costs of Living in Thailand as an Expat
By Don Freeman
Living in Thailand as an expatriate may turn out to be
more costly than you think if your budget, savings and
investment plan don’t factor in all of the hidden costs you may
encounter. With that in mind, here are the top 10 hidden costs
of living in Thailand as an expatriate:
1. Maintaining a Western Living Standard. If you are not
accustomed to living in the tropics or in a still developing
country, you will likely need to use the air conditioning every
day while western food (like breakfast cereal) will inevitably
cost more in Thailand than in your home country. Moreover, most
restaurants in Thailand don’t serve “western sized” portions (if
they do, you will probably pay western sized prices) and unless
you have learned how to speak Thai, you will probably want cable
or satellite TV. In other words, maintaining a western or even a
middle class living standard in Thailand can be expensive.
2. The Cost of Socializing. Unless you intend to stay at home
all the time, you will likely be socializing with other
expatriates in venues frequented by expatriates or tourists
where you will be paying “farang” prices that can quickly add
3. Exchange Rate Fluctuations. From 1981 until 2013, US Dollar
to Thai Baht exchange rate has averaged 32.60 while reaching an
all time high of 55.50 in January of 1998 and a record low of
20.36 in July of 1981. However and over the last decade, the
Thai Baht has appreciated against most major western currencies
(and especially against the GBP) – a trend that’s likely to
4. Inflation. From 2000 until 2012, inflation in Thailand has
averaged 2.66%, but it has also ranged from an all time high of
9.2% for the month of July 2008 to a record low of negative 4.4%
in July 2009. However, official inflation rates don’t fully take
into account that the cost of maintaining at least a middle
class living standard in Thailand is rising as the country’s
economy grows while the annual influx of foreign tourists and
expatriates brings its own set of inflation for “farang” prices.
5. Banking Fees. Except for a few ATMs owned by AEON and
Citibank, Thai ATMs will charge a 150 baht fee per foreign
transaction. Then there are the fees charged by your overseas
bank for using an ATM outside of their network, currency
transaction costs and daily withdraw restrictions (typically
$500 per day for most banks) that can quickly eat into the funds
you transfer in to live on.
6. Visa Costs. Thailand offers various visas for retirees,
investors and those married to Thai citizens, but you need to
remember that there are fees and other requirements for these
visas that could change at any time. And if you don’t intend to
obtain some kind of long-term resident visa for Thailand, the
costs of doing frequent visa runs (even if you live near a
border) will also need to be factored in.
7. Medical Insurance. Expatriates in Thailand have access to
excellent and mostly affordable healthcare, but it’s also
important to remember that most government health care programs
for retirees or pensioners (e.g. Medicare for Americans) will
not cover citizens living abroad while expatriate health
insurance can be expensive. Moreover, you will likely need to
buy some kind of health or travel insurance to cover any visits
outside of Thailand or to your home country.
8. Trips “Home.” Even if you intend to more or less live
permanently in Thailand, you will probably want to make trips
“home” to visit children or grandchildren – especially around
the holidays (at the height of Thailand’s peak travel season).
Since you will likely be booking a round trip beginning and
ending in Thailand, the airline you use may also charge your
fare in Thai Baht – potentially adding to the costs of your
9. Emergencies. Ideally, you will need to tie up extra cash that
can easily be accessed for emergencies, like medical expenses
that may need to be paid up front in cash or a trip “home” to
deal with a family emergency. With interest at record lows for
savings accounts in many western countries, there will be an
opportunity cost associated with keeping extra cash tied up.
10. Competent Financial Advice. Living in Thailand as an
expatriate will complicate your investment, insurance and tax
situation considerably and you will need to seek out
professionals who are experts in such matters for expatriates.
And while expert professional advice is never without a cost,
getting bad advice will end up being more costly over the
Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a
Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange
Commission (SEC), based in Phuket, Thailand. He has over 15
years experience and provides personal financial planning and
wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK and US
pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email:
TRUEGIF IPO sells out raising over 58 billion baht
Noppadol Dej-Udom, Group Chief Financial
Officer, True Corporation Public Company Limited announced the sale of
TRUEGIF shares in Asia – Pacific’s fourth largest IPO.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
TRUE Telecommunications announced the sale of shares in
TRUE Growth Infrastructure Fund (TRUEGIF) between December 9 –
16, 2013 at a press conference held at the Holiday Inn Hotel on
December 12. TRUEGIF shares were snapped up by investors,
despite the economic uncertainty, selling 58.08 billion baht in
shares in the fourth largest initial public offering (IPO) in
the Asia – Pacific this year. Retail investors received a ten
year tax break on the sale.
TRUEGIF owns or has the right to receive revenues from assets
such as a fiber optic grid, last – mile cables in upcountry
regions for high speed internet, and eventually 12,000 telecom
Noppadol Dej-Udom, Group Chief Financial Officer, True
Corporation Public Company Limited said that TRUE
Telecommunications Growth Infrastructure Fund (TRUEGIF) is the
1st Telecommunications Growth Infrastructure Fund in Thailand.
It was established in order to comply with governmental policy
and also provides the public the opportunity to earn good
dividends as part owners. And its power will drive the growth of
Thailand’s telecom business in the future. The IPO price was set
at 10.00 baht and 2,381.28 million shares were on offer to the
public. It is expected that units can be traded on the Stock
Exchange of Thailand by December 26, 2013.
AIS launches Central Festival branch to provide
shoppers expert help
AIS launched their latest customer service
center and Shop branch at Central Festival Chiang Mai with Governor
Wichien Puthiwinyoo and President of the Chiang Mai Culture Council Chao
Duangduan na Chiang Mai on December 13, 2013. The new center will offer
not only customer service but a team of experts to provide advise on
smartphones, FAST LANE and the Serenade Room. Vilasinee Puddhikarant,
Chief Customer Officer of AIS, said that AIS will extend 3G technology
to all major cities of all 77 provinces.
Gold predicted to follow
a downward trend
The price of gold price will continue to be on the downtrend
next year, predictably moving at from US$1,175-1,450 per ounce
or Bt18,000-22,500 per baht weight, a leading gold trader said
Chitti Tangsitthipakdi, president of the Gold Traders
Association, said gold price should reach its peak in February –
the deadline for US debt ceiling expansion — which will
psychologically contribute to price speculations. He said
investors who bought gold at exorbitant prices should cut their
losses for reinvestment.
Mr Chitti said it is improbable that gold price in overseas
markets will plunge to US$1,050 per ounce, reasoning that the
capital price is at US$1,100-1,200 per ounce.
Recommending short-term investment, he said it is rather
impossible that the gold price will surge to its previous peak
at US$1,920 per ounce or Bt27,100 per baht weight unless there
is a war or act of terrorism.
Tanarat Pasawong, chief executive officer of Hua Seng Heng Gold
Futures, predicted a downward trend for the price of gold which
he said should move at around US$1,050-1,530 per ounce given the
US action on quantitative easing. Gold prices should surge back
in 2015 when the global interest rate moves up, he said.
The baht depreciation also has an impact on domestic gold price,
he said, adding that the Thai currency weakened 3 per cent this
year and will continue to depreciate next year. The gold price
can possibly plummet to its lowest at Bt17,500 per baht weight,
he said. (MCOT online news)
Leading French cosmeceuticals company launches flagship
store in Chiang Mai
Leading French cosmetics companies La Roche – Posay and Vichy
launched their flagship store at the Ground floor of the Sripat
Medical Building at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital in
December 4, 2013. Here Assoc. Prof. Somsak Chaowisitseree,
Director of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital cuts the ribbon
for the new store. Vichy and La Roche – Posay are two
subsidiaries of L’Oreal Cosmetics offering high end skin care
Tourism association concerned over prolonged protests
The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) expressed concern
that Thai tourism industry could be hit in the first quarter of
next year if political demonstrations are prolonged in a
statement released December 22, 2013.
president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanporn called for peaceful
dialogue to solve the current political crisis.
ATTA president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanporn said he has closely
monitored the Sunday protests with the huge turnout of
demonstrators. He admitted that the people have rights to
express their voice under democratic system. But he raised
concerns over foreign media coverage of the situation that could
affect foreign tourists who are deciding whether to visit
Thailand in the first quarter of next year, which coincides with
the Chinese New Year celebration.
Under normal situations, he said, there would be a large number
of tourists from China and other countries coming to celebrate
the festival in Thailand.
Mr Sisdivachr said peaceful dialogue is the only solution to end
the crisis and each side should take a step back, even if only a
If all concerned parties insist on continuing with the situation
like this, the country will be affected, given that as of now 39
countries have already issued travel advisories for their
citizens. (MCOT online news)