RISING RETAIL SALES IN THAILAND.

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During the first half of 2001, retail activity in large and medium sized establishments continued to expand in Thailand, though at a slower pace than in 2000. Year-on-year expansion stood at 10.6 percent. That growth was mainly driven by an increasing consumer preference for super centers and discount stores.

Sales at large retail establishments grew as the number of stores increased and they became more accessible to consumers in major metropolitan areas. Thailand's central bank also attributes their success to well-funded promotional campaigns launched over the past 12 months.

Gains achieved by the nation's largest retail establishments have come at the expense of small retailers. According to the central bank, sales activity at small retail establishments is eroding rapidly due to fierce competition. Both the government and private sector retail associations are looking at ways of creating an atmosphere in which small...

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