Last update 3/15/2012 10:31:00 AM (GMT+7)

Japanese supermarkets expanding in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – Japanese have shown their intention to bring made-in-Japan goods to Vietnam, as the demand in Japan has become weaker.

In fact, the landing of Japanese retailers in Vietnam was forecast right in 2009, when Vietnam began opening its retail market to 100 percent foreign owned retail chains.

What do Japanese retailers sell in Vietnam?

In late February 2012, Japanese leading retail group Takashimaya signed a contract on leasing retail premises with an area of 15,000 square meters, located on an advantageous position in district 1 of HCM City.

In order to prepare for its official presence in Vietnam, slated for 2015, the group is following necessary procedures to set up a project office and set up a company in HCM City. Meanwhile, Paul Tan, Media Director of Takashimaya Singapore, said that Takashimaya has worked out with suppliers to prepare the goods sources for the supermarket in Vietnam.

Takashimaya is a big Japanese retail group which is always associated with luxurious brands in the world. Paul Tan has revealed that the new shopping mall would also be the place to display the world’s leading fashion brands, high grade household goods, food and drinks.

Declining to reveal the investment capital for the shopping mall in Vietnam, the representative from the retail group said the shopping mall would have the same model as the one operating in Singapore.

Meanwhile, another Japanese retail group – Aeon – does not target high income earners, but targets medium class consumers. In early March 2012, the retail chain announced the investment in the Aeon-Tan Phu Celadon supermarket in HCM City, capitalized at 109 million dollars.

Motoya Okada, CEO of Aeon group, believes that Aeon would change the shopping habits of Vietnamese people. The construction of the supermarket would begin in September 2012, while the supermarket is expected to become operational from 2014.

“90 percent of the goods to be available at the supermarket would be domestically made goods, while the other 10 percent would be the imports from Japan and other countries,” he said.

“Aeon also plans to cooperate with Japanese and Vietnamese companies who will be the goods suppliers,” Motoya Okada, Aeon Vietnam CEO said.

The launching of the two big projects in the retail sector shows that Japanese investors plan for a long term development instead of developing separated small shops.

Jetro (Japan External Trade Organization) has said that it can see a big change made by Japanese investors in the Vietnamese market who has shifted from small scale production to the distribution sector. The rapid development of Family Mart can prove the viewpoint. The retail chain has got 18 shops just after two years of operating in Vietnam.

It’s the time to exploit the Vietnamese retail market

Shinichiro Hori, Managing Director of Dream Incubator Vietnam, said that many Japanese investors have shown their interest in the Vietnamese market, even though at this moment, Vietnam is still using various measures to protect the domestic retail market.

“The young population, improved income and the similar habit tastes with Japanese consumers are all the things that make Vietnam attractive to Japanese investors,” he said.

He went on to say that some Japanese retailers decided to penetrate the Vietnamese market under the franchising mode, while others push up wholesale distribution while waiting for the Vietnamese market become more open to foreigners.

Paul Tan cited a report by the Singaporean agency GST as saying that in 2011, Vietnamese people ranked the sixth in Singapore in the spending level, with the annual growth rate of 2.3 percent.

Motoya Okada, Aeon Vietnam CEO, has revealed that after putting the supermarket in HCM City into operation, Aeon would march towards the north and the central region by 2014 and 2015.

Nhu Binh