Top prospects shine through for retailers

October 11, 2023 | 15:00
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Positive long-term growth prospects have become the driving force for foreign retailers to accelerate expansion plans in Vietnam.

Matsukiyo, a retail chain with nearly a century of experience in the beauty and healthcare industry in Japan, opened its first store in Hanoi at the end of September, bringing the total number of stores in Vietnam to seven.

Hiroki Miyaoka, managing director of Matsukiyo in Vietnam, said that Hanoi will be an important highlight in the brand’s expansion strategy in Vietnam.

Top prospects shine through for retailers
Top prospects shine through for retailers, Source: Matsumoto Kiyoshi

“We decided to open the new store because Hanoi represents the diversity and potential of the market and is also the focus of increasing demand in the beauty and healthcare sector,” Miyaoka explained.

Matsukiyo owns 1,800 stores in Japan. In Vietnam, this retail chain has been present since 2020, but has only operated in Ho Chi Minh City. The retailer plans to open two more stores in October and 15 in total in Vietnam in the next year.

“Vietnam’s economy has quickly achieved high growth rates in the Southeast Asia region, and I see many positive growth prospects in the near future,” he added.

Other retailers from Japan are also in the race to expand market share through opening new stores, such as MUJI, which opened its fifth store in Ho Chi Minh City and sixth store in Hanoi.

At the end of September, fashion retailer UNIQLO opened its 10th store in Hanoi, bringing the number of UNIQLO retail stores in Vietnam to 22. Hideki Nishida, newly appointed general director of UNIQLO Vietnam, said, “Our retail activities in Vietnam have only just begun, but the strategic partnership in manufacturing has lasted more than 20 years. I feel that Vietnamese customers have a great demand for all of our products and so this is a huge development opportunity,” Nishida declared.

Meanwhile, AEON Vietnam also shared its plan to continue expanding its scale with a diverse business model in the next few years, including large shopping centres, department stores, supermarket chains, convenience stores, and specialised stores.

“We will not only continue to open stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but will expand to the Central region and neighbouring localities,” shared general director Furusawa Yasuyuki.

Early in the third quarter, AEON Vietnam was issued a $41 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Bank to open two new general merchandise stores in the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Long An.

The move will also support the development of a distribution network for Japanese ingredients and processed food in Vietnam through AEON’s stores.

This retailer also just signed a cooperation agreement with 20 Vietnamese university and college training institutions at the end of September to train human resources for the retail industry, preparing for future expansion. Vietnam is identified as AEON’s second key market after Japan, and the retailer currently runs six large stores in the country, with plans to open a further 30 by 2030.

According to Nobuta Tetsuhiro, counsellor from the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, the close 50-year relationship between the two countries is the reason for the Japanese government to increase support for retailers entering the Vietnamese market.

“According to a Japan External Trade Organization survey, Vietnam is the second most popular country for Japanese companies after the US to expand their business in the future,” Tetsuhiro said.

“Despite concerns about a global economic recession this year, Vietnam continues to show strong growth and is an attractive investment destination for Japanese companies.”

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s retail industry currently has a market size of $142 billion, which is forecast to increase to $350 billion by 2025.

Meanwhile, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and a number of Thai investors announced that they wanted to buy up to 20 per cent of grocer Bach Hoa Xanh, the third-largest grocery chain in Vietnam, with a valuation of about $1.5-1.7 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

Bach Hoa Xanh was founded in 2015 and is a member of retail giant Mobile World Investment, currently running more than 1,700 stores across Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Central Retail earlier this year announced investment worth $1.45 billion in the Vietnamese market over the next five years, while South Korea’s Lotte Group last month opened the largest retail complex in Vietnam, worth $643 million, in Hanoi. The official opening was attended by Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin.

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Matsukiyo to open new store in Hanoi Matsukiyo to open new store in Hanoi

Matsukiyo, a beauty and healthcare retailer from Japan, has decided to open a new store in Hanoi, the brand's first in the capital, and increases the number of its stores in Vietnam to seven.

By Tra My

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