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PHUKET TOWN: Ground has been broken for a new Lotus Supercenter at the intersection of Phra Phuket Road, (also known as the Samkong-Kathu Road), and the Chalerm Prakiat Ror 9 Road, (also known as the Bypass Road), on the city’s northwest side. A marketing representative for Bangkok-based Ek-Chai Distribution System, which operates the retail center chain for joint-venture partners Tesco Store (Thailand) and the Charoen Pokphand Group, told the Gazette that the facility is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year. Earlier this month, the company opened its 14th branch in Thailand, a 16,000 square meter store at Ayutthaya Park in Ayutthaya’s Phra Nakhon district. The store stocks over 100,000 retail and fresh food products. The new Lotus Supercenter will be the latest in a string of new businesses setting up along the Bypass Road corridor. In October, Gems Gallery Phuket, billed as “the world’s biggest jewlery store,” opened its third Thailand branch. The road has also attracted auto showrooms, construction supply houses, and housing and shophouse developments over the past few years.