Vietnam is attracting special attention from various major retailers. Furusawa Yasuyuki, general director of AEON Vietnam, shared with VIR’s Tra My about the development potential of the retail market as well as the plan to expand its operations in Vietnam.
What is the biggest advantage that makes Vietnam one of the top destinations for Japanese groups to invest in and expand here?
|Furusawa Yasuyuki, general director of AEON Vietnam |
With a fast population growth rate and high economic development, the living standards of the Vietnamese will also gradually be improved. Hence, the industries of services, equipment, and consumer goods will have a lot of potential for development in the future. At the same time, the Vietnamese government also has many policies to stimulate the economy and attract foreign investment. Japanese investors also realise this is a business opportunity and actively implement their projects in Vietnam.
As for AEON, we really appreciate the strong cooperation relationship with the Vietnamese government, local community, and customers. AEON will continue to maintain it and actively implement those activities together with our business.
How interested are Japanese investors in the Vietnamese retail market and how do you predict the potential and picture of the sector in 2022?
In the next 5-10 years, the Vietnamese economy and the retail market will be strong. By 2030, Vietnam’s GDP per capita will be equal to current Thailand, with an urbanisation increase from 36 per cent to 50 per cent.
In addition, e-commerce continues to significantly grow at a rate of 24 per cent per year, along with cashless payments to reach 90 per cent by 2025 and 100 per cent of citizens using e-identification cards following the government’s target. With the growing changes in the structure of the retail industry, by 2030, the revenues of leading retailers will triple.
At the same time, Vietnamese customers are having a big change in consumption behaviour after the impact of the pandemic. Accordingly, e-commerce and the demand for essential items will also change significantly. We believe that all these changes are opportunities for AEON Vietnam to grow.
Therefore, investment capital flows into Vietnam will also increase. At the same time, we also want to contribute to the development of Vietnam’s economy.
What plans does AEON Group have to expand its market and develop its retail business in Vietnam, and which key models will it prioritise to differentiate itself from other markets in Southeast Asia?
AEON Group considers Vietnam as the biggest key market after Japan to develop business activities and will actively take advantage to develop in the future for expansion and growth.
Our goal is to have 30 stores with other business activities expanded, focusing on big cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Hue, and Haiphong as well as neighbouring provinces. Besides big shopping malls, we will also consider developing a system of smaller ones.
Regarding the 3-year medium-term plan until 2025, we expect to have at least 15 shopping malls by then. We are still considering a specific plan to achieve that target and adjusting accordingly during implementation. We also aim to open 100 AEON Maxvalu supermarkets in Hanoi by 2025, and develop a system of specialised stores such as AEON Bicycle and Glam Beautique. We will accelerate the opening of this segment to serve the needs of people in residential areas.
With the plan to develop a business system to increase AEON Vietnam’s brand presence in the market, we aim at returning to the pre-pandemic growth rate as quickly as possible. However, in addition to the number of existing stores, AEON Vietnam will also open more supermarkets, so we still expect the growth rate to be higher than before this year as well as until 2025.