Asian retail giants seize on expansion

September 14, 2022 | 10:43
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Several major international groups are planning to expand operations in Vietnam in a wide range of sectors including retail, consumer goods, and foodstuffs.

The visit to Vietnam of Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin and other executives more than a week ago suggests that the fifth-largest economic group in South Korea is planning a new development strategy in Vietnam, after the completion of its withdrawal from China after 14 years.

Asian retail giants seize on expansion
AEON is looking to expand in Vietnam with its offerings this decade

The multinational consists of over 60 business units in a variety of industries such as food and beverages, hotels, retail, financial services, chemicals, electronics, IT, construction, publishing, and entertainment.

Debuting in Vietnam in 2015, Lotte currently owns 12 subsidiaries and operates 270 Lotteria restaurants and 15 Lotte Mart hypermarkets in Vietnam. It has invested nearly $5 billion in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Lotte Group’s other affiliates are also jointly building large-scale shopping complexes and residential apartments in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In the latter, it plans to build a large complex called Lotte Eco Smart City Thu Thiem. In Hanoi, the group will complete the construction of the Lotte Mall Hanoi in 2023.

The group also established an investment fund in Vietnam called Lotte Ventures Vietnam last year to promote both local and South Korean startups to venture into the Vietnamese market.

Meanwhile, Japan’s AEON Group plans to open 30 shopping centres, focusing on the country’s largest cities, and then moving to neighbouring localities by 2030.

Furusawa Yasuyuki, general director of AEON Vietnam, said this orientation is part of the group’s medium-term business strategy for 2025. “Our retail activities will be appropriate and contribute to the overall economic development of Vietnam. In Japan, we have achieved remarkable growth and will apply this experience to the Vietnamese market,” said Yasuyuki.

AEON opened its first Vietnamese shopping centres, AEON Mall Celadon in Ho Chi Minh City and AEON Mall Canary in Binh Duong province, in 2014. Its strategy of partnering with large supermarkets in Vietnam has previously helped the Japanese retail group fulfil its goal of both accelerating development and raising awareness of the AEON brand.

AEON Vietnam boasts 4,000 employees and has expanded its business across six provinces and cities.

Meanwhile, Thai group Central Retail has made progress covering both hypermarkets and shopping centres in 40 cities and provinces nationwide.

In July, it announced a plan to invest nearly $828 million in Vietnam by 2026. Thailand’s largest retail group aims to become the leading omnichannel retail platform in the food and real estate sectors in Vietnam and will expand retail channels to cover all 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam.

Central Retail currently has 340 shopping centres and stores, as well as 10 retail brands in Vietnam including Go!, Nguyen Kim, SuperSports, and TopsMarket.

Olivier Langlet, managing director of Central Retail Vietnam, said that the company will drive sales growth in Vietnam through expanding and consolidating its core businesses, launching its own branded products, and developing mixed projects to strengthen retail real estate.

“We want to seize merger and acquisition opportunities to accelerate business expansion, and consider Vietnam as a strategic point in terms of raw materials and products for Central Retail in Thailand,” Langlet said.

AEON determined to fortify green lifestyle AEON determined to fortify green lifestyle

As many companies are trying to promote sustainable development and a greener world, AEON Vietnam is trying to contribute its share. Nguyen Bang Lang, in charge of Sustainable Development at AEON Vietnam, shared with VIR’s Tra My initiatives to reduce single-use plastics at one of the largest retailers in Vietnam.

AEON Vietnam committed to more sustainable consumption AEON Vietnam committed to more sustainable consumption

During its 10-year journey in Vietnam, AEON has strived to fulfil its commitment to promote green consumption by offering environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic bags and single-use plastic products, demonstrating the role of one of the leading retailers in Vietnam.

AEON expands into fast fashion AEON expands into fast fashion

AEON Retail Group has just launched My Closet, a fast-fashion brand, at AEON Mall Binh Tan in Ho Chi Minh City.

By Tra My

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