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Việt Nam retail market attracts international investors

Wednesday - 01/03/2017 19:51
Việt Nam’s growing retail market has attracted the attention of foreign retailers. A series of famous retailers from Japan, Thailand, South Korea and France have flocked to the country, hoping to penetrate the market, a recent JLL Việt Nam report said.
Việt Nam retail market attracts international investors
As penetration of foreign retailers into the country has increased, fierce competition in the retail space has become more intense. This will put the retail market to the test and only retailers with the right positioning to meet market demand will gain market share.
In 2014, the Berli Jucker acquisition of Metro Cash & Carry Việt Nam for an enterprise value of 655 million euro (US$700 million) – the largest-ever Merger & Acquisition deal in Việt Nam at that point – signalled entry of the Thailand retailer into the country.
Later, another Thailand giant, Central Group, acquired Nguyễn Kim Trading – Việt Nam’s top electronics retailer, and BigC Việt Nam- the second largest supermarket chain in terms of store number in the nation.
In October 2015, Emart – the leading South Korean retailer – officially marked its entrance with a US$60 million shopping centre in north HCM City. Also from South Korea, Lotte Mart is quite successful with 11 supermarkets, a number expected to increase to 60 stores by 2020.
Most Japanese investors consider the success of Aeon in Việt Nam a praiseworthy case in overseas investment. Aeon has four malls and expects to reach 20 malls before 2020. Also from Japan, Takashimaya arrived in July 2016 as anchor tenant of downtown HCM City’s Saigon Centre retail mall.
Adding to three Simply Mart stores in HCM City, AuchanSuper, a major retail brand from France, is planning to open another 17 supermarkets by end-2017 in the city and 20 stores by 2020 in northern Việt Nam.
Thanks to increasing disposable incomes, big fashion brands such as Gap, Mango and Topshop have become the top choice of many young Vietnamese. In September 2015, Zara opened its first flagship store in HCM City. H&M will reportedly enter Việt Nam early next year.
With 90 million people, Việt Nam has attracted retailers with its relatively young population – 70 per cent are aged between 15 and 64 years – who promise to be a key driver of robust market growth. Việt Nam’s urban population is expected to grow 2.6 per cent annually from 2015 to 2020, the highest rate among regional peers.
“Increasing disposable incomes, rapid urbanisation and rising living standards make Việt Nam one of the most dynamic emerging economies in South East Asia,” says Bùi Trang, Commercial Leasing Director at JLL Việt Nam.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, Việt Nam has the fastest growing middle and affluent class (MAC) in the region, which will double in size between 2012 and 2020, from 12 million to 33 million. MAC consumers, whose income is VNĐ15 million (US$700) or more a month, will be a key group of potential customers for retailers.
Việt Nam e-commerce is set for strong growth thanks to its growing consumer and online population. According to the Nielsen’s report, nine out of ten consumers in Việt Nam (91 per cent) own smartphones, compared to 82 per cent in 2014, and the rapid up-take of connected devices, especially smartphones and tablets are instrumental in media consumption shifting.
“Significantly increasing the amount of the credit card holders has also had an impact on the change in consuming behaviour. It is observed that people now are more willing to spend as they can afford more with credit and it tends to make shoppers less canny,” she said.
Additionally, increasing international arrivals and continuously improving infrastructure are also factors that make Việt Nam an alluring market for retailers. – VNS

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