Phuket supermarket shelves refilled with imports
PHUKET: Major supermarkets on the island have been catching up over the past week with shortages caused on the island by the flooding in central Thailand.
Friday 11 November 2011, 10:54AM
The floods have caused partial paralysis in the country’s transport network and led recently to some items being rationed by large stores.
Now, however, supplies brought in from neighbouring countries including Malaysia, China and Vietnam are finding their way onto supermarkets shelves
Tesco-Lotus has been importing supplies from all three countries, and rather than use trucks has had Thai Airways flying the products around the country.
Up to 10 flights a day are taking off from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Phuket and Haad Yai, carrying canned fish, noodles and toilet tissue, with nearly 500 tonnes of essential goods being transported in this way.
The company’s sister business in Malaysia is providing 3 million litres of water and 8 million packets of noodles, which have started to arrive in stores around the country. Tesco-Lotus is also using its global supplier contacts to secure water, noodles, canned fish, eggs and UHT milk from China and Vietnam.
A Tesco-Lotus manager in Phuket, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Phuket News, “The water and mineral water was imported from Malaysia and came to our store a few days ago. The prices are similar to those of local products, but we need to limit sales to 12 bottles per customer.
“Some brands of sugar and condensed milk are now back in stock after we ran out last week. Customers can buy as much condensed milk and sugar as they want.
“Rice will also be rationed at times, depending on the amount we have in stock.”
Big C, too is importing goods. Prapruet Saiwatanasuk, the supermarket manager, said, “Eggs, drinking water and instant noodles have been ordered by head office from other countries.
“We still don’t have enough eggs to meet demand, so we are rationing them to three 30 egg trays per person.
Last Friday Big C received a consignments of drinking water, which is enough to meet current demand. Imported eggs and instant noodles, also from Malaysia, were expected to be on the shelves by yesterday (November 10).
Supplies of rice, sugar and condensed milk are still available, but rationed.
Big C has almost completed a new distribution centre in Krabi to supply the South. It is expected to begin delivering products such as water, rice and cooking oil next week.