Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator CP All Plc has shelved plans to launch the convenience store chain in Cambodia and Laos, Thailand’s The Nation reported on November 20.
Its senior vice-president Kriengchai Boonpoapichart said the company would resume its plans once the general Covid-19 situation in the two countries improves, according to The Nation.
CP All is the retail arm of Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd.
CP All (Cambodia) Co Ltd and CP All (Laos) Co Ltd have each been granted franchising rights for 30 years in the establishment and operation of 7-Eleven branches, The Nation said.
In Thailand, the company is forging on with plans to open an additional 700 stores in the entire 2020, having opened 513 in the first nine months of this year.
Currently operating 12,225 7-Eleven outlets in Thailand, CP All has said it will invest between 11.5 and 12 billion baht ($380 and $396 million) this year to open new stores, renovate existing branches and launch new projects, according to The Nation.
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng lamented adding CP All newest venture into Cambodia to the roster of Covid-19 related investment project postponements.
But he noted that the company’s initial decision to bring 7-Eleven to Cambodia was a positive reflection of the Kingdom’s thriving modern retail sector.
“As I see it, the more marts there are, the easier it’ll be for city dwellers needing to purchase miscellaneous goods near their homes,” Heng said.
Cambodian Ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on May 10 that CP All plans to initially invest in around 700 to 1,000 outlets.
He said it will then sell franchises to Cambodian businesses and other foreign investors that wish to run 7-Eleven convenience stores in the Kingdom.
“The 7-Eleven project will not only promote bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand but will also create a lot of employment opportunities since the president of CP All Plc has promised that at least 90 per cent of employees will be locals,” Sorphorn said.
On the Stock Exchange of Thailand, CP All’s share price rose 0.75 baht (2.48 US cents) or 1.20 per cent to close at 63.25 baht ($2.09) on Monday for a market capitalisation of 568.18 billion baht, with 38.13 million shares traded.