Pattaya has put the brakes on plans for a small Makro wholesale branch at the New Naklua Market out of fear it will take business away from local vendors and other small businesses.
Acting Mayor Chanapong Sriviset said the “Mini Makro” or Siam Frozen, as it was known, would suck all the business away from small businesses in the market.
Siam Makro Co. has been asked to prepare a list of products intended for sale for the city to review, a company legal executive said.
Jirawut Amnuaychaisiri, director of the Soi Post Office Community, said Mini Makro was set up in a commercial building with four rooms spread over several floors right in front of the market.
The problem, he claimed, is that if Siam Frozen opens, the small businesses around it, including market vendors who have been around for years, will not get any business.
Fans of Makro say the retailer offers a wider selection, better service and lower prices than merchants that dominate the local markets.
Jirawut claimed Makro will become a competitor offering fresh seafood, raw materials and other items and will eventually overwhelm the entire market, leaving the vendors with nothing.
Thamrongsak Wongurai, manager of Siam Makro’s legal department, countered that the Mini Makro is not the supermarket people assume it would be. It will be a restaurant using frozen raw, Siam Frozen-branded ingredients.
The eatery’s retail area will offer frozen goods that local markets don’t stock, such as french-fries, pork, chicken, milk, butter, cheese, tomato sauce and other imported frozen foods. Other household items will be on sale as well, but the company worked to not conflict with local businesses, he said.
Makro does not intend to compete with local vendors and they studied the area before deciding to do open in Naklua, Thamrongsak said.
He said if vendors still don’t understand the business plan, another meeting with Siam Makro management will be arranged so a solution that appeases all can be designed.