Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thailand looking at anti-hypermarket laws

The new Thai government is considering legislation that would restrict the growth of big stores.

The long-awaited retail industry regulations have moved at a snail's pace despite operators of small stores calling for years for legislation to regulate the rapid growth of hypermarkets, chain convenience stores and other large operators.

Critics say that the Interior Ministry's current urban planning and building codes are not adequate for the changed business environment, in which chains are squeezing out family businesses. [...]

Under the current draft, which focuses on protecting local retail businesses, existing giant retailers can expand but must comply with new regulations - restricting operating hours, size and proximity to the city centre - to leave room in the market for small players.

In the current global economic downturn, it is likely that populist legislation will be enacted in many countries.

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