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Tops Club


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Tops is about to enter a new market segment to compete with Makro. Personally I detest Marko and their low quality products and Tops Club seems to be more in line with Costco in USA and Canada.

 

They will open their first store near Central Rama II. A bit far from where I live now, but wifey has a house there, so maybe I'll go check it out and take some pics.

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Items right now at Tops Club are limited as they build up. Rama 2 store is opening up on September 28th, tomorrow.  You can buy online or at a few pop up locations here in BKK, and I have already grabbed a few items twice so far and then had some delivered to the condo here in BKK. It is a members only store and you pay for a membership. Prices are not to bad in actuality. 499 baht for the coffe beans and 599 for the chocolate coveted Almonds.

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14 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Items right now at Tops Club are limited as they build up.

I'm not seeing folks mention, they're asking for an annual membership fee of 799b, a supposed discount from what they claim will be their regular 999b per year fee.

 

And, when I installed their "Tops Club" Android app on my phone today, and went thru the stock they had listed, there was virtually no fresh food listed at all right now.... no fruits, veggies, meats, cheese, dairy, etc., local or imported.

 

And very sparse of everything else.... though they did have a line of some Kirkland (Costo) products from the U.S., mostly things like bulk packages of various roasted nuts.

 

And some really odd stuff, like 7000b inflatable "Swan" boats.

 

And weirdly, their Android app has product sections for stuff from various foreign countries, the U.S., Australia,  Korea, Japan, etc.... But I saw no section of UK stuff at all, which seems odd....

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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Makro isn't an evil empire. I usually drop by once or twice a month for the bulk stuff - uncooked oats, large Skippy peanut butter, chocolate chips, and I enjoy their #1 coffee. Most other things are slightly less expensive at Tesco/Big C.

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1 minute ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

I'm not seeing folks mention, they're asking for an annual membership fee of 799b, a supposed discount from what they claim will be their regular 999b per year fee.

 

And, when I installed their "Tops Club" Android app on my phone today, and went thru the stock they had listed, there was virtually no fresh food listed at all right now.... no fruits, veggies, meats, cheese, dairy, etc., local or imported.

 

And very sparse of everything else.... though they did have a line of some Kirkland (Costo) products from the U.S., mostly things like bulk packages of various roasted nuts.

 

And some really odd stuff, like 7000b inflatable "Swan" boats.

 

Sorry i forgot to mention that a membership fee is required. I paid 799 baht as a pre-opening special.

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4 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Sorry i forgot to mention that a membership fee is required. I paid 799 baht as a pre-opening special.

 

They're NUTS if they think I'm gonna cough up 800 or 1000 baht per year for the privilege of being able to buy some packages of Kirkland roasted nuts from the U.S.... 

 

They're gonna have to do a lot better than just that!  🙂

 

I used to love shopping at (membership warehouse store) Costco in the U.S., because they had loads of stuff I wanted to buy.... at good prices...and often things not found in the regular supermarkets.

 

It remains to be seen whether Tops Club is gonna come anywhere close to that....

 

On the basis of the stock shown in their Android app one day before their official opening, they're a NO for me, right now.

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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3 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

They're NUTS if they think I'm gonna cough up 800 or 1000 baht per year for the privilege of being able to buy some packages of Kirkland roasted nuts from the U.S.... 

 

They're gonna have to do a lot better than just that!  🙂

 

I was told it was coming, along with Sam's Club products. They have a good variety in Vietnam apparently, I have been told by a friend who lives out there. Love the use of NUTS.

Edited by ThailandRyan
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1 minute ago, ThailandRyan said:

I was told it was coming, along with Sam's Club products. They have a good variety in Vietnam apparently, I have been told by a friend who lives out there.

 

There's a "Tops Club" warehouse store in Vietnam already open and running?

 

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7 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

There's a "Tops Club" warehouse store in Vietnam already open and running?

 

Same style but by Central Retail.

 

https://retailasia.com/stores/news/central-retail-launches-megaproject-tops-club

Tops Market is a successful brand in Thailand, and the success is expanded further into Vietnam,” Stephane Coum, CEO - Food Group, Central Retail, said. 

“To elevate our retail business as we embark on our third decade, and to grow steadily, strongly and sustainably, we have announced our 5-year strategy with four key areas to lead our food retail business towards our goal.”

 

The Philippines also has S&R which sells Kirkland and Sam's brands as well.

Edited by ThailandRyan
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17 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

They're NUTS if they think I'm gonna cough up 800 or 1000 baht per year for the privilege of being able to buy some packages of Kirkland roasted nuts from the U.S.... 

 

On the basis of the stock shown in their Android app one day before their official opening, they're a NO for me, right now.

 

 

Duly noted, sir

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I see there's an article in today's BKK Post Business section on the new Tops Club store.... Can't link to it here per forum rules, but it's available on their website.

 

The article says they're going to focus on imported and so-called premium goods...and will have fresh foods available...though none are shown right now on their Android app....

 

It's also a bit confusing, because the Post article talks about there being a "free" basic membership, and then the 799/999b per year premium membership. The article says the premium membership includes a 5% shopping discount and free delivery in BKK and surrounding areas thru 2023.

 

And the face behind this thing... a farang....

 

Stephane Coum, chief executive of Central Food Retail Group
 

The article further says the Tops Club store here is the first of its kind on SE Asia.

 

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4 hours ago, mnomad said:

Makro the queue moves fast and no voucher madness. Tops has the slowest moving checkouts every man and his dog using some form of voucher or promo, and resplitting their trolley load for more voucher hits, everyone wanting to declare their loyalty and forgetting their own phone number, then just when you think you're about to get served someone will have forgot to weigh that one apple, and perhaps rightly, isn't going to step aside after dealing with the promo junkie that went before them and took 10 minutes.. 
 

Tops is good for one thing - developing the virtue of patience and tolerance.. I use it as a self-improvement tool 🤣

They have self service tills at Rama 2 since the re vamp this year

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1 hour ago, HappyExpat57 said:

Makro isn't an evil empire. I usually drop by once or twice a month for the bulk stuff - uncooked oats, large Skippy peanut butter, chocolate chips, and I enjoy their #1 coffee. Most other things are slightly less expensive at Tesco/Big C.

 Maybe it's just my imagination...

 

But I used to be a regular shopper at Makro prior to their takeover by CP....

 

And in the wake of that, it seems to me, their selection of imported products narrowed and their prices increased.

 

All in all, I liked the "old" Makro more than the newer CP Makro.

 

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43 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

I see there's an article in today's BKK Post Business section on the new Tops Club store.... Can't link to it here per forum rules, but it's available on their website.

 

The article says they're going to focus on imported and so-called premium goods...and will have fresh foods available...though none are shown right now on their Android app....

 

It's also a bit confusing, because the Post article talks about there being a "free" basic membership, and then the 799/999b per year premium membership. The article says the premium membership includes a 5% shopping discount and free delivery in BKK and surrounding areas thru 2023.

 

And the face behind this thing... a farang....

 

Stephane Coum, chief executive of Central Food Retail Group
 

The article further says the Tops Club store here is the first of its kind on SE Asia.

 

The last line you have posted is not actually 100% True, Now as far as the name Top's Club, yes first of it's Kind, but as I stated earlier Central Retail has the same type of Store in Vietnam and S&R does as well in the Philippines, which is SE Asia.

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1 minute ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 Maybe it's just my imagination...

 

But I used to be a regular shopper at Makro prior to their takeover by CP....

 

And in the wake of that, it seems to me, their selection of imported products narrowed and their prices increased.

 

All in all, I liked the "old" Makro more than the newer CP Makro.

 

100% Agree, the meat section has shown a huge decline, at least at the one on Rama 3, and their Western Imported goods are down to a small single row of shelves.

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18 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

The last line you have posted is not actually 100% True, Now as far as the name Top's Club, yes first of it's Kind, but as I stated earlier Central Retail has the same type of Store in Vietnam and S&R does as well in the Philippines, which is SE Asia.

 

I noted your VN comment.... Just recapping what the cited article says...rightly or wrongly:

 

"We are introducing a mega project called Tops CLUB for the first time in Southeast Asia. We've spent two whole years developing this never-before-seen store concept."

 

Tops operates a bunch of different store formats in Thailand, some not all that dissimilar, despite the multitude of different store names.

 

I looked at the Central Retail Group's website for Vietnam, and didn't see anything there regarding a membership warehouse operation there....at least not that I could identify as such...

 

https://centralretail.com.vn/

 

https://centralretail.com.vn/our-business/food/

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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11 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

I noted your VN comment.... Just recapping what the cited article says...rightly or wrongly:

 

"We are introducing a mega project called Tops CLUB for the first time in Southeast Asia. We've spent two whole years developing this never-before-seen store concept."

 

Tops operates a bunch of different store formats in Thailand, some not all that dissimilar, despite the multitude of different store names.

 

I looked at the Central Retail Group's website for Vietnam, and didn't see anything there regarding a membership warehouse operation there....at least not that I could identify as such...

 

https://centralretail.com.vn/

 

 


 

It has now turned into a full blown Costco now in Vietnam

 

image.thumb.png.a17429bccd6f5e6dba71459d0907583c.png

Edited by ThailandRyan
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6 hours ago, mnomad said:

Tops has the slowest moving checkouts every man and his dog using some form of voucher or promo, and resplitting their trolley load for more voucher hits, everyone wanting to declare their loyalty and forgetting their own phone number,

I used to live in Ubon, The Tops in the Central Plaza was like that, a complete madhouse especially on Sundays.

 

Then I moved to a, uh, certain other Issan changwat with a nice Tops inside a Robinson Lifestyle, where there's usually only 1-2 in front of us in line, and we blow through like a breeze. There's few hi-sos here and fewer farangs, so I'm not letting the secret out... Heh, heh...

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2 hours ago, ThailandRyan said:

Sorry i forgot to mention that a membership fee is required. I paid 799 baht as a pre-opening special.

Just wondering how well that works, especially for discounted/promotion items.

 

Another 'brand name' got into hot water with this some years back. Member card cost 500Baht but on many occasions when members tried to use the card they were denied. 'cannot use member card for xx, zz, gg, rr, yy, hh, vv, metc.

 

I recall one member wanted to buy a specific paint, it was suddenly on promotion. He tried to use member card but denied. So 'OK, give me the non-promotion/full price and I'll claim my member discount on the full price'.

 

Manager came and accused the member of trying to play tricky games. Member gave the card to the manager and said 'I don't want your card, many other shops where I can buy what I want'.

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13 minutes ago, scorecard said:

Just wondering how well that works, especially for discounted/promotion items.

 

Another 'brand name' got into hot water with this some years back. Member card cost 500Baht but on many occasions when members tried to use the card they were denied. 'cannot use member card for xx, zz, gg, rr, yy, hh, vv, metc.

 

I recall one member wanted to buy a specific paint, it was suddenly on promotion. He tried to use member card but denied. So 'OK, give me the non-promotion/full price and I'll claim my member discount on the full price'.

 

Manager came and accused the member of trying to play tricky games. Member gave the card to the manager and said 'I don't want your card, many other shops where I can buy what I want'.

I know in the US, as well as the Philippines, you can get a temporary 1 day membership which will allow you entry and the ability to buy Items.  I never knew if those folks continued to play the 1 day game or were caught at the entrance where they check to see if you have the card and if not they send you to customer service.  I know that in order to buy the items at the discount prices you have to gave them your card for them to scan, here as they start the new program they scan the QR code from the APP I have on my phone which has my account membership information on it. If no membership then I would believe that you can not buy the items unless you have a temporary card with a number on it that would identify you in the system.  This account is also linked to my "The 1" Card.

 

The membership also has these regulations 

 

Screenshot_20220927_192318.jpg

Edited by ThailandRyan
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2 hours ago, ThailandRyan said:

It has now turned into a full blown Costco now in Vietnam

 

image.thumb.png.a17429bccd6f5e6dba71459d0907583c.png

That's a curious place...

 

Don't see any mention on the Costco corporate website, or elsewhere, of them having any official Costco presence in Vietnam.

 

"578 locations in 46 U.S. States & Puerto Rico;
107 locations in nine Canadian provinces;
29 locations in the United Kingdom;
14 locations in Taiwan;
17 locations in Korea;
31 locations in Japan;
13 locations in Australia;
40 locations in Mexico;
4 locations in Spain;
1 location in Iceland;
2 locations in France;
2 locations in China"

 

https://investor.costco.com/corporate-profile-2

 

Nor do I see any indication the Vietnam operation above is part of Central Retail Group.

 

But did see some mention on social media of there being a fake Costco operation in Vietnam.

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6 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

That's a curious place...

 

Don't see any mention on the Costco corporate website, or elsewhere, of them having any official Costco presence in Vietnam.

 

"578 locations in 46 U.S. States & Puerto Rico;
107 locations in nine Canadian provinces;
29 locations in the United Kingdom;
14 locations in Taiwan;
17 locations in Korea;
31 locations in Japan;
13 locations in Australia;
40 locations in Mexico;
4 locations in Spain;
1 location in Iceland;
2 locations in France;
2 locations in China"

 

https://investor.costco.com/corporate-profile-2

 

Nor do I see any indication the Vietnam operation above is part of Central Retail Group.

 

But did see some mention on social media of there being a fake Costco operation in Vietnam.

That is weird but then again I strayed off topic listing it.

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14 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

That is weird but then again I strayed off topic listing it.

I seriously doubt the new Tops Club is going to come close to this...

 

But Thailand really needs a grocery warehouse with the breadth of a place like this in Vietnam, which is neither a Costco nor a Sam's Club, despite the title of the video....

 

 

Apparently, this one is something called MM Mega Market in VN.

 

https://mmvietnam.com/en/

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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6 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

I see there's an article in today's BKK Post Business section on the new Tops Club store.... Can't link to it here per forum rules, but it's available on their website.

 

The article says they're going to focus on imported and so-called premium goods...and will have fresh foods available...though none are shown right now on their Android app....

 

It's also a bit confusing, because the Post article talks about there being a "free" basic membership, and then the 799/999b per year premium membership. The article says the premium membership includes a 5% shopping discount and free delivery in BKK and surrounding areas thru 2023.

 

And the face behind this thing... a farang....

 

Stephane Coum, chief executive of Central Food Retail Group
 

The article further says the Tops Club store here is the first of its kind on SE Asia.

 

We have a Tops store here in our province that we frequent.  No membership is required, and we've bought Kirkland brand nuts there.  Kirkland is the main brand for the Costco chain from America, and Costco has a presence in Taiwan.  Costco, of course, is membership-based.  I suppose Taiwan is not considered part of "SE Asia"?  It might be more accurate to refer to ASEAN, a more specific group of SE Asian countries.

 

EDIT: I responded before I read the rest of the thread...now I see you already listed the Costco locations.  Wow!  Taiwan has 14 now!  I was inside the first one, and there were going to be two at that time, one near Taipei and one near Taichung.  At the time I visited, it was the busiest Costco in the world--literally so packed you were nearly forced to go with the flow of traffic from entrance to exit.

Edited by AsianAtHeart
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7 hours ago, HappyExpat57 said:

Most other things are slightly less expensive at Tesco/Big C.

DIsagree, and strongly on Makro.  The only things more expensive are Cokes.  Big C and Lotus are higher on every food item I buy.

Edited by Sheist
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Sounds like Tops is only in Bangkok mainly.  

There are stuff at Makro I like the wife seem to like it more but based on overall price if I had to pay for a membership based of any kind to shop there vs overall priced it is bye bye.  

This would be the same if they had a Tops in Pattaya although I think competition is good but here with this government I'm not sleeping on it much. 

I would reserve use a one day pass to check it out?

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17 minutes ago, thailand49 said:

Sounds like Tops is only in Bangkok mainly.  

There are stuff at Makro I like the wife seem to like it more but based on overall price if I had to pay for a membership based of any kind to shop there vs overall priced it is bye bye.  

This would be the same if they had a Tops in Pattaya although I think competition is good but here with this government I'm not sleeping on it much. 

I would reserve use a one day pass to check it out?

This is not a Top's but a Top's CLUB.  Same as a COSTCO, SAM's Club, S&R, many products from outside of Thailand.  Bulk items which if you have pantry storage space for is good. Between this and shopping at Makro we only need to shop now once every two months, except for fresh fruit and vegetables which we buy as needed.  I became used to shopping this way when working as I was only paid once a month, so I would stock up on the cleaning supplies, and meats such as Chicken, Pork, Fish etc... would fill the freezer as much as possible to last, as well as buying the snacks to fill the lunch bags for the kids.  Of course I have no kids at home regularly now here in Thailand except for the GF's daughter who comes and stays, but boy does she power through the snacks, and still is skinny as a rail. 

 

One think I like is buying the coffee in bulk so it lasts for a month and not having to buy the small bags of beans sold in markets here every week.

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