Thai retailers have resorted to a mix of alternative shopping strategies like drive-through and calling up customers direct to generate business. Above all as shopping malls and businesses are close during the covid-19 crisis.
The country’s largest retailer, Central Retail Corporation is calling up previous customers, chief executive Yol Phokasub told reporters.
“Customers are mostly at home so there is more time to talk,” Yol said. Store retailers have been successful in selling items creating a boom in online traffic.
Other methods include drive-through pickup service. Customers order online then drive to the mall to pick up their goods. The method is working well with groceries, he said.
The company was able to recover 30% of sales after 90% of stores in its non-food segment were ordered to close. He said, and the company expects to report a “single-digit loss” in the first quarter. The majority of Central’s 200 supermarkets remain open.
Malls, except for supermarkets and restaurants for delivery, have been closed. The Thai government has also imposed a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
In the fourth quarter last year, Central Retail’s non-food sector, which includes; fashion; electronics and construction materials; contributed 32.8 billion baht ($1.01 billion) in revenue, or 62% of total sales.
Thailand stands to lose 1.3 trillion baht, nearly all of it in the tourism sector, from the coronavirus. Which has infected than 2 million people globally and killed 136,667, according to a Reuters tally.