U.K. food retailer makes move on Asia

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LONDON -- British retailer Tesco has acquired a controlling stake in Lotus, a Thai hypermarket chain with 13 stores, with an eye towards doubling the number of stores by 2002.

Tesco is market leader in the U.K. and Ireland with additional stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

The announcement comes less than a week after another British retailer, Boots Co., announced plans May 13 to open 40 stores in Thailand in the next two years. The retailer and pharmacy group currently operates six sites in Bangkok and Pattaya on trial since last year.

British food, clothing and household goods chain Marks & Spencer, has long been active in Asia, with retail sites in Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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