A Study on Thai Consumer Co-ops (1996)

This document has been made available in electronic
 format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
December, 1996
(Source: Asia-Pacific Co-op News, Vol.3, No.1
Sept-Dec.,1996, p.6)

A Study on Thai Consumer Co-operatives

Many Consumer Co-operatives in Thailand have faced 
challenges from the growing number of multinational retailing and 
wholesaling companies. As a result some co-operatives in the 
northern Thailand went into liquidation and some in the capital 
city of Bangkok are facing problems. The only exception is 
university based consumer co-operatives.

In order to study the current situation and organise a strategic 
planning exercise to develop consumer co-operatives, a study team 
consisting of consultants from the
ICA ROAP, JCCU, and NFUCA (Japan) undertook preliminary fact 
finding mission in November 1996. The group visited a large 
number of co-operatives in Bangkok and Nakon Ratchsima, 
Consumer Co-operative Federation, Co-operative League of 
Thailand and Co-operative Promotion Department for discussion 
and observations. It was found that where there was an active 
participation by members and effective customer relations by 
the staff, as in the case of Krungdeb Consumer Co-operative,
the consumer co-operatives have still been able to sustain a 
steady growth in spite of growing supermarket chains.

The team has found that university based consumer co-operatives 
are consolidating themselves into joint purchasing habits and 
planning to set up a big warehouse in Bangkok. Co-operative 
Promotion Department (CPD) has provided the land and other 
facilities. The CPD has also been trying to experiment in 
different modes of wholesaling: traditional vertical structure 
having wholesaling unions, making a
single large co-operative to become the wholesaler for other 
co-operatives. and working as a network.

The team would visit Thailand in the early part of 1997 to 
complete the findings and working towards a national and 
regional strategic planning exercise.