Rosy future for retail market

10:49 | 24/02/2017 Trade

(VEN) - According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, retail sales of goods and revenue from services in January 2017 totaled an estimated VND330.3 trillion, up 5.6 percent compared with December 2016 and 9.9 percent higher than January 2016.  

With a young population and growing purchasing power, Vietnam stands among the most attractive retail markets worldwide. In 2016, the Vietnamese retail market continued to expand and witnessed a number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as the growing presence of domestic and foreign retail giants.

Major domestic retailers such as Saigon Co.Op, VinGroup and Satra are expanding their distribution networks. VinGroup has opened hundreds of mini-marts and convenience stores in urban areas nationwide and is determined to invest in distribution networks in rural and remote areas. Its goal is opening about 500 supermarkets and 5,000 convenience stores under the brand VinMart and VinMart+ within the next five years.

In mid-2016, VinGroup signed cooperation contracts with nearly 250 local firms under its program to support and promote domestic production, which will offer food suppliers a zero percent discount.

To build a nationwide distribution network, Saigon Co.Op is promoting the sale of essential consumer goods in rural and remote areas, strengthening its position among the largest distribution chains in Vietnam.

In the arena of foreign retailers, Thailand’s Central Group, after acquiring the Big C Vietnam retail chain, has announced its long-term investment plan in Vietnam aiming to double the number of Big C supermarkets in the country within the next five years.

The South Korean Lotte Group has opened a number of supermarkets in Vietnam and is pursuing the goal of having a total of 60 supermarkets in the country by 2020. Meanwhile, Japan’s Aeon has announced plans to open 20 shopping centers in Vietnam. Many other retail giants such as American Walmart and French Auchan have opened representative offices in Vietnam and are seeking suppliers to prepare for their launch in the Vietnamese market.

The Vietnamese retail market grew an average 7.3 percent annually in the 2010-2015 period, and experts believe there is room for further development. Although modern retail channels account for a mere 25 percent of total retail sales, they achieved an annual growth rate of 12 percent. Under the plan to develop a network of supermarkets and commercial centers until 2020, with a vision towards 2030, Vietnam will have 1,200-1,500 supermarkets, 180 commercial centers and 157 shopping centers by 2020.

Retail trade is forecast to grow 11.9 percent annually in the 2016-2020 period. Retail sales are expected to total about US$179 billion by 2020, with over 45 percent from modern retail channels.

Lan Phuong