Sumitomo invests in baby and mom retail chain Bibomart

May 23, 2017 | 16:35
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Bibo Mart Joint Stock Company today officially announced the investment from ACA Investments—Japan’s leading fund management company and an affiliate of Sumitomo Corporation.
CEO and chairwoman Trinh Lan Phuong talked about the company's strategy until 2019

With this investment, ACA Investments acquired 20 per cent of Bibo Mart’s shares.

Bibo Mart also revealed its expansion strategy to increase its number of stores to more than 180 by 2017 and to 500 stores by the end of 2019, generating at least $300 million in revenue, with the aim of becoming a $500-million enterprise by 2019 and retaining its title as the No. 1 baby and mom retail chain in Vietnam.

Along with announcing the new investment, Bibo Mart also shared its forward-looking business development strategy, focusing on the expansion of scale and the adoption of high-performance models as well as developing strategies for attracting and developing talented personnel.

On the occasion, the company also officially introduced its leadership. The upper management personnel of Bibo Mart have all held upper management positions at major Vietnamese companies in diverse sectors. The company’s strategic and financial advisors come with rich experience in retail in all channels from many countries around the world.

Founded in 2006, the Bibo Mart baby and mom chain of stores operates under the management of Bibo Mart JSC and specialises in providing products for moms during pregnancy and postpartum and babies aged 0-6.

Starting out with only two stores in 2006, Bibo Mart now has 120 stores. It is expected that by the end of this year, the number of stores will double from last year’s figure to reach 180 and then 500 by the end of 2019. On average, about 10 new stores will open nationwide each month. Bibo Mart stores will be located in over 18 provinces, targeting strategic locations that are densely populated and convenient for buyers.

Since opening its original two stores in 2006, Bibo Mart has grown to 120 stores by now

The Bibo Mart chain was born with the desire to build a convenient world of safe and convenient shopping for moms, where they can find more products for their babies at competitive prices. Over its 11 years of establishment and development, Bibo Mart is now the No. 1 mother and baby store chain in Vietnam.

Trinh Lan Phuong, CEO and chairwoman at Bibo Mart

We are honoured and proud to receive investment from ACA Investments. The strategic investment will provide additional resources to boost our internal strengths so that we can confidently pursue a bold business development strategy and retain our position as the market leader.

The Vietnamese mom and baby retail sector holds great potential. Many companies, not only from Vietnam but other countries as well, want to join this sector, either through opening their own chains or by cooperating with existing ones. We think this is a challenge but also an opportunity because more players provide more motivation to grow.

We will also explore business expansion to other services for mothers with the ultimate goal of bringing greater value to Vietnamese mothers.

Hiroyuki Ono, partner at ACA Investments

There are three reasons we invested in Bibomart: a visionary CEO, the commitment of the team, and the development potential.

ACA Group believes in the success of Bibo Mart as a baby and mom retail chain, but at the same time, we expect to see the team going beyond retail to become a lifestyle services provider for mothers and their families.

Through this investment in Bibo Mart, we hope to seize the opportunities that exist for Japanese corporates to expand into the Vietnamese retail market.

Maheswaran Thambunathan, COO at Bibo Mart

I have 27 years of experience working in management roles at the 7-Eleven and Giant supermarket chains of Dairy Farm in Singapore.

However, in Singapore the population is low at 5 million and the market is more mature so we are struggling with growth. Childbirth is low.

Here in Vietnam, there are 22,000 babies born every day. The Vietnamese market has lots of opportunities to grow due to the 90 million population and the 6 per cent GDP growth a year, so I was excited to leave my comfort zone in Singapore.

Another reason I joined Bibo Mart is that I am impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of Phuong and her team. I am very excited to share my experience with the rest of the team and help Bibo Mart with cost optimisation and increase efficiency.

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