Year published :February 2013

Pages :288 pp.

Size :14x21 cm.

ISBN: 9786162150579

Diversifying Retail and Distribution in Thailand

by Endo Gen

41 tables, 5 illus. 

The entry of transnational retailers into emerging markets inevitably disrupts the existing retail and distribution structures. Thailand experienced such disruption to its traditional retailing system beginning in 1990 and continuing through the following two decades, to the extent that many observers have called it a “revolution.” But the term “revolution” is a misnomer, according to this study. The new retail and distribution formats, rather than replacing traditional markets, have continued to exist alongside them. In addition, Thailand’s retail and distribution industries are heading toward diversification rather than uniformity, the latter phenomenon being generally associated with the advance of multinational corporations. Endo analyzes Thailand’s retail structure in the light of its entire distribution system, examining how changes have affected not only horizontal, competitive relationships between modern and traditional retailers, but also vertical relationships with manufacturers and wholesalers. Rather than focusing narrowly on the urban middle-class consumer market, he considers the markets’ income differentials—the “mosaic structure”—which is an indispensable framework for discussing the retail and consumption practices of an emerging economy. The book presents a thoroughgoing and positive analysis well grounded in Thailand’s historical context.

Studies on the advance of transnational retailers into emerging markets have recently flourished, most of which aim to clarify the internationalization of retail from a commercial science perspective by concentrating on the transnational retailers’ activities. In this book, greater attention is given to the particular circumstances of the host countries’ retail and distribution systems and consumer markets. Using a comparative-business-history approach to a single country, this research contributes significantly to our understanding of retail and distribution systems in emerging markets globally.


  • A thoroughgoing and positive analysis of Thailand’s current retail and distribution system
  • Presents data using more than 40 tables
  • Views the current situation within its historical context
  • Uses a broad perspective of the consumer market based on income differentials— a “mosaic structure”

About the author

Dr. ENDO Gen, Associate Professor in the Faculty of International Relations at Daito Bunka University, holds a PhD from the University of Tokyo. He was an international student at Chiang Mai University during the mid-1990s and a visiting scholar at Chulalongkorn University in the mid-2000s. His field of interest is the Southeast Asian economy, particularly Thailand’s, and focuses on retail consumption and distribution.

Related files


Thailand | economy | retail | wholesale | distribution | consumer markets |marketing channels | distribution revolution