Saigon Co.op set for department store debut

January 13, 2014 | 10:33
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Vietnam’s top retailer Saigon Co.op opened its first department store in the country while German retailer Metro Group has announced it wants to sell its Vietnam cash and carry business.

The Sense City department store, which covers 22,000 square metres at the heart of the Mekong Delta economic hub of Can Tho City will officially open on January 20, Saigon Co.op chairman Nguyen Ngoc Hoa announced in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

Sense City, run by Saigon Co.op Investment Development (SCID), includes a Saigon Co.op supermarket, cinema, bowling alley, child playground, shops, food and beverage, lifestyle and entertainment. The shopping centre also boasts Burger King, Lotteria and Jollibee fast food outlets.

He added that it had cost over VND200 billion (over $9.5 million) to build the store and to install equipment, along with VND100 billion spent on stocking product. Saigon Co.op’s Can Tho City Trading Company partner invested in Sense City but will not run the business.

SCID general director Nguyen Thi Tranh said another Saigon Co.op department store would open in the nearby Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre in the near future. They will then break ground for the third, located in nearby Ca Mau later this year. She also confirmed that the company would open more department stores in Ho Chi Minh City during 2015-2016, but would not disclose the locations.

Saigon Co.op and Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd (Mapletree), a fully-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings are also developing SC VivoCity, a $100 million one-stop mall being built in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 as a joint venture.

SC VivoCity will feature up to 72,000 square metres of retail space, embracing the attributes of Singapore’s iconic VivoCity mall, an award-winning retail destination in Singapore. Saigon Co.op will collaborate with NTUC FairPrice Singapore to set up their new Co-op Xtra hypermarket in the mall.

German retailer Metro however is seeking buyers to sell it Vietnam business, which includes 19 cash and carry wholesale centres in major cities such as Binh Duong, Can Tho, Haiphong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, reported the Wall Street Journal. The paper claimed Metro Vietnam could be valued at more than $500 million.

By By Tuong Thuy

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