E-Mart chain widens market for local goods

July 30, 2015 | 09:47
E-Mart, South Korea’s largest retailer, will officially open the doors to its first supermarket in Vietnam this December.

E-Mart - photo source visitkorea.or.kr

The information was announced by Choi Kwang Ho, general director of E-Mart Vietnam, in the latest meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. E-Mart’s first supermarket would have the total investment capital of $60 million and will cover an area of 3 hectares in the Garden Hills complex in Ho Chi Minh City’s Go Vap district.

Following field research to select the ideal space, the South Korean retailer decided to buy the trade centre area in the Garden Hills complex from Cityland Real Estate Investment Company this January.

Ho said that E-Mart was also mulling over a plan to build one more outlet in Vietnam in the near future. However, details about this have not yet been disclosed.

According to Ho, the company has plans to source 95 per cent of its goods from within the Vietnamese market. In early stages, E-Mart will co-operate with local supermarkets.

As the major player in South Korea’s retail sector, E-Mart has exclusive rights to distribute over 30 leading fashion brands, such as Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gap, and Banana Republic.

Established in 1993 by Shinsegae Group, E-Mart was the first discount retailer in South Korea, and is currently home to 150 supermarkets at home and 10 supermarkets in China. The group’s annual turnover reaches over $10 billion, of which Vietnamese goods hold 2 per cent.

E-Mart currently wants to seek Vietnamese providers to sell products such as furniture, rice, and agricultural products in the company’s supermarket chain in South Korea, added Ho.

E-Mart is the second South Korean retailer to operate in Vietnam, following Lotte Mart, which entered the country in 2008. The retailer is currently operating ten trade centres across Vietnam, with an expansion plan to establish 60 outlets in the next five years.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said at the meeting that Vietnam’s retail market was currently very attractive. Once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) becomes a reality later this year, enterprises in ASEAN will have more business opportunities, as there will be greater regional economic integration and market convergence.

“The AEC, therefore, is likely to attract more foreign investors to Vietnam, eager to make the most of tariff advantages. Vietnam’s retail market will become more competitive,” said Thoa, adding that E-Mart chain would help promote Vietnamese goods in the South Korean market.

By By Nguyen Chung

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