South Korean conglomerate Lotte is expanding its retail footprint in Vietnam with supermarket chains, department stores, e-commerce, and most recently, duty free stores.
Lotte committed to invest more in Vietnam
Lee Jong Kook, president of External Relations for Lotte Vietnam, told VIR that Lotte Duty Free (LDF) has been a great success in the Vietnamese travel retail market.
Starting from the soft opening on May 8 last year, LDF held the grand opening of its store in Danang International Airport on November 1. As a major duty free operator in the central international airport, LDF breaks its own records every month and expects to reach $11 million sales in 2017.
In April 2018, LDF is going to open the second duty free store in Cam Ranh International Airport in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa. Cam Ranh Airport, a main international airport for tourists to Nha Trang, is slated to finish construction and open a new terminal in April. LDF will be the only duty free operator in the airport with a sales target of $21 million in 2018.
Kook is very upbeat about the prospects of the LDF Cam Ranh Airport store as Nha Trang is currently the most popular destination among Chinese tourists in Vietnam and the growth of this market segment will surely continue for more than five years.
According Kook, the duty free market belongs not only to the retail industry but also to the travel industry. That is why duty free business is classified as “travel retail.”
“As a travel retail operator in Vietnam, firstly we will deliver knowledge of duty free business to Vietnam. This will lead to upgrading service quality in the Vietnamese retail market. Secondly, we will try to focus on marketing to tourists so that the Vietnamese travel industry will prosper along with our business,” he added.
2017 was a successful year for Lotte Vietnam. In particular, Lotte Mart Vietnam had an excellent performance with a sales growth of 20 per cent.
“This result is realised after ten years of operations in Vietnam. We successfully completed a stable profit structure which would be ideal for any other retailer,” Lee said, adding that Lotte Mart has a total of 13 stores nationwide and will open 13 more stores, including smaller outlets.
In addition to its supermarket chain, the South Korean retailer also owns and operates Lotte Shopping Plaza Vietnam, a department store located in Lotte Center Hanoi. Opened in September 2014, the store has achieved an impressive sales growth of 15.7 per cent in 2017.
Meanwhile, Lotte E-Commerce Vietnam was opened in October 2016 in order to meet the rising trend of online shopping. The year 2017 saw Lotte E-commerce settle successfully in the Vietnamese e-commerce market.
Lotte E-Commerce Vietnam has been trying to show off new life style in Vietnam e-commerce market while Lotte Shopping Plaza Vietnam continuously provides the newest commodity and service to Vietnamese clients.
In case of Lotte Mart Vietnam with experience more than 20 years in Korea and 10 years in Vietnam, Lotte has brought the best modern retail model to Vietnam. It not only enriches Vietnam's retail market with a unique retail an entertainment model but also provides Vietnamese customers a wide range of products diversification from Korea or worldwide.
“We commit to investing more and more in the Vietnamese market and also promote national brands to a new level, not only in Lotte Mart Vietnam, but also expand to oversea markets like Korea or South East Asia in near future,” he said.
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