Tesco has said it views Thailand as a “very exciting” market after the retail giant said it will invest in a further five Lotus-anchored shopping malls in the country.

“The business there has proved hugely popular with Thai customers so it’s a very exciting market for Tesco to be in,” a spokesperson told just-food. “It’s been a highly successful business that has been very well received.”

The UK retailer announced the plans for the new malls yesterday. The move forms part of expansion plans that earlier this year included the listing of a property fund in Thailand.

The spokesperson said it sees plenty of potential for growth in the country.

“[We entered Thailand] at a time when we were looking at overseas opportunity in markets with long-term growth potential and markets where the political and legal environment would allows us to get on and run a business.

“We did the research with customers and we thought there was a customer opportunity we thought we could match. Thailand was our first Asian business and it has proven to be a very good market for us.”

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The spokesperson, however, declined to comment on its plans for growth given the retailer is in its quiet period ahead of its half-year results, which are published next month.

Tesco operates a multi-format business in Thailand through its Lotus banner comprising hypermarket, Express and Extra stores. It entered the country in 1997.