Soya Garden, a soybean-based beverage chain has closed down its last store in Ho Chi Minh City during the latest resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
|Soya Garden has fully exit the Ho Chi Minh City market |
The flagship store is located in the six-way Phu Dong roundabout in the city's District 1, which is the most expensive location in the downtown area. The closure of the store marks the chain’s full divestment from the municipal market during the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
Launched in July 2019, this is the 50th store developed by Soya Garden during its aggressive expansion across Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, and Nha Trang. After this milestone, the chain started to narrow its operations and closed numerous stores.
According to the representative of Egroup, the closure is part of the chain’s restructuring plan to optimise operations and staff expenses while increasing revenue. Also, the food and beverage (F&B) sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as more people switch to online food ordering. Therefore, it is not efficient for the chain to maintain flagship stores in expensive prime locations.
Soya Garden was founded by siblings Hoang Anh Tuan and Hoang Thu Thuy in 2016, who believed soybean products would be a popular beverage following coffee and milk tea. The startup wrapped up VND20 billion($869,570) in investment from Egroup in Shark Tank Vietnam in 2018.
In 2019, Egroup increased investment in the chain to VND100 billion ($4.35 million). From there, Soya Garden quickly expanded its two shops to more than 30 outlets with a view to operating 300 stores in 2021.
However, the chain has shut down numerous stores since the outbreak of the pandemic. As of present, Soya Garden operates eight stores in Hanoi. In the coming time, the chain plans to change its business model to smaller stores, thereby cutting expenses for premises, operation, and staff. Soya Garden also partners with online food delivery platforms to keep the chain afloat during the challenging time.