Vietnamese goods absent from Thai-owned supermarkets
VietNamNet Bridge - The shelves at Thai-owned supermarkets such as MM Mega Market and Big C are full of foreign-made products, while the products bearing Vietnamese brands are sparse.


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The director of a fish sauce company complained that his products had been ‘dislodged’ from the MM Mega Market.

“They (the supermarket) did not say ‘you have to leave’, but they had thousands of ways to force you to leave,” the director said.

“They just need to require higher discount rates or set higher standards on products. As you cannot satisfy the new requirements, you will have to leave yourself before they expel you,” he explained.

The shelves at Thai-owned supermarkets such as MM Mega Market and Big C are full of foreign-made products, while the products bearing Vietnamese brands are sparse.

Tien Phong’s reporters who visited MM Mega Market and Big C on August 16 found that the cosmetics, soft drink and beverage stalls were full of products from Thailand, including Essence laundry detergent and Refresh soft drink.

At MM Mega Market Phu Lam in district 6, HCMC, reporters found some Vietnam-made products, which were put next to Thai products. 

Thanh Hoa, 29, a visitor, told reporters that at first she thought she mistakenly went into a foreign supermarket, not Vietnamese, because she saw foreign made goods only.

She admitted that she chooses Thai products because she thinks foreign products are always better.

Since the day it was transferred to a Thai tycoon, Big C has reserved the most advantageous positions in the supermarkets to display Thai products, from household-use products, clothes to processed food and cosmetics.

There has been no official survey on what the percentage of Thai products is in supermarkets in Vietnam. However, Vietnamese manufacturers have complained that their products have been weeded out from Thai-invested supermarkets.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has complained to Big C’s management board about the high discount rates required by the supermarket which results in losses to Vietnamese businesses.

According to VASEP, besides the discount rate, Vietnamese suppliers also have to pay for many other items when supermarkets open new sale points, run sale promotion programs and pay for transport service. 

According to Le Thi Thanh Lam, deputy general director of SG Food, while the average discount rate is 10 percent, foreign supermarkets require 20 percent and higher. 

The discount rate is ‘too high’ said Lam, who believes that if the supermarkets raise the discount rate, Vietnamese enterprises cannot bring their goods to the supermarkets. 

Previously, the sale through MM Mega Market and Big C brought 30 percent of Saigon Food’s revenue, but now brings 20 percent only.


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Thanh Lich

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