The surest sign that the economy has reached crisis levels in Pattaya is when the 7-Elevens start closing.
Especially in South Pattaya, 7-Elevens and Family Mart stores have closed with more struggling to hang on. From South Road to Soi Marine Plaza to Soi VC, the formerly 24-hour stores are now full-time homeless shelters, a shocking testament to how bad Pattaya’s economy has gotten.
Admittedly, Pattaya has a huge oversupply of 7-Elevens, some in Jomtien Beach located literally across the street from each other. With Pattaya’s population having shrunk by more than 300,000 people this year, there aren’t enough customers to keep all those stores open.
“Rungarun,” a former clerk at a Family Mart on Soi VC, said her shop closed down two months ago. Before the coronavirus outbreak, customers would walk through the door every five minutes or so. By the time the Family Mart shut down, only about two customers an hour walked in.
She has remained in Pattaya trying to find work, but has used up her savings and plans to leave Pattaya and return to Phitsanulok.