BANGKOK – Drugstore Tsuruha Holdings Inc. and noodle chain Kourakuen Corp. have opened their first overseas outlets in Bangkok.
The outlets of Tsuruha, based in Sapporo, and Kourakuen, based in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, began operating Wednesday on the same floor in a large shopping mall that opened the same day.
While the mall is near the Sukhumvit district, where many families of Japanese businesspeople live, the two companies are targeting both Japanese in Thailand and local residents.
Both firms plan to increase their outlets in Thailand and expand operations in Southeast Asia.
After overseeing the opening ceremony, Tsuruha President Tatsuru Tsuruha said his company will strive to “differentiate itself from Thai drugstore chains through excellence in its product lineup and workers’ product knowledge as well as its consulting power, such as sales of medicines by pharmacists.”
The drugstore will not only market over the counter drugs but also cosmetics to attract female customers. They will also provide salesclerks who can advise customers on how to wear makeup as well as install special machines to check the condition of skin. Tsuruha’s outlets in Japan offer these services.
Tsuruha, which operates more than 1,000 drugstores in Japan, aims to open 10 in Thailand over the next two years before entering other countries in the region.
President Tsutae Niida of Kourakuen, which runs nearly 500 noodle restaurants in Japan, said his company will “pursue its line of providing noodle dishes of the same taste and quality anywhere in the world.”
The firm plans to open five directly run restaurants in Thailand in two years and consider developing a franchise network later. It also aims to operate in Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.