According to local reports Tesco Lotus has agreed to suspend its planned convenience store opening programme for three-months.

This move is a response to the pressure independent Thai retailers have put on the government to block the expansion of international retailers in the market amid fears that supermarket giants will drive smaller retailers out of business.

“Tesco-Lotus has sent a letter to the Commerce Ministry saying it will suspend the expansion of its outlets with space of 300 to 800 square metres for three months,” Commerce Minister Krirk-Krai Jirapaet told reporters at the weekend.

The Thai government had been asking international retailer’s to suspend expansion since the military coup in September. Tesco had been the only retailer to refuse to do so. 

Tesco was not immediately available for comment on the matter.

Tesco-Lotus currently operates 56 hypermarkets and 189 small Lotus Express stores in Thailand and plans to open 200 more outlets.