BANGKOK, Jan 4 – Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce will begin its “Blue Flag” mobile shops to sell consumer necessities at lower-than-market prices in the capital and its surrounding provinces.
Department of Internal Trade Director-General Wiboonluck Ruamrak said Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom will release the Blue Flag caravan on Jan 11. The mobile shops will sell consumer and household goods below market price to Bangkokians and those living in adjacent provinces for three months or through March.
She said the project was proposed by the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking as a relief measure for low-income earners.
Ms Wiboonluck said the ministry will also discuss with management of industrial parks to allow sale of “Blue Flag” products in their minimarts to help reduce burden for workers.
The director-general added the ministry will continue to conduct the “Blue Flag” fairs both in the central and other regions this year as Bt190 million of budget has already been allocated.
Regarding the “Tookjai Shop” project, grocery shops to sell low-cost consumer goods in communities, Ms Wiboonluck said the ministry has talked with several commodity companies such as Saha Pathanapibul, Loxley and the Mitr Phol Group to lay out the project’s 2013 operation plan.
She said the department has prepared a Bt200 million budget to operate the Took Jai grocery shops.
Ms Wiboonluck said the department has sought cooperation from hypermarkets such as Makro to be product distribution centres in Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Songkhla and Nakhon Sawan. The regional centres will help reduce the logistics cost by half and can distribute products to local Took Jai shops more frequently so that shelves will be filled all the time.
In the long term, she said, the ministry will train Took Jai shop owners to increase their capacity and build connections between local shop owners and manufacturers.