BANGKOK – Japan’s largest drugstore operator, Matsumotokiyoshi, will open a store in Bangkok this week, its first abroad, and a second one by the end of the year, the head of the company’s new joint venture here said Tuesday.
“We are confident to be successful here,” Junichi Tateno, chief executive officer of Central & Matsumoto Kiyoshi Corp., a joint venture between Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co. and Thailand’s Central Food Retail Corp., told a press conference.
He cited Thailand’s status as Southeast Asia’s leading health-and-beauty market, worth 85 billion baht ($2.4 billion), and one that has been growing steadily despite periods of political instability.
Noting the Thai people’s fondness for Japanese culture and products, Tateno said the store will initially introduce around 2,000 Japanese health-and-beauty products to Thai customers.
The new store will be the first to be opened abroad by Matsumotokiyoshi, which has more than 1,500 branches in Japan, since the company was founded 85 years ago.
Since 2014, the company has done market testing in Central’s 23 supermarkets in Bangkok and other major cities and some 200 daily-use products and cosmetics being sold were received well by customers, according to Tateno.
He said the marketing data helped the company to cater suitable products for Thai customers.
Central Food Retail Co., the largest supermarket chain in Thailand with around 150 branches, has a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, with Matsumotokiyoshi holding the remainder of shares.
The first branch will be opened at Central Plaza Ladprao, offering commodities and beauty products from Japan and other countries. Another will be opened at Central Plaza Pinklao by year-end, with plans to expand to other department stores in the future.