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Central Group opens first stationery center in Vietnam

Released at: 11:45, 07/07/2017

Central Group opens first stationery center in Vietnam

B2S's opening ceremony. Photo: B2S Vietnam

Thai retail giant opens first B2S store in Ho Chi Minh City in early July.

by Hong Nhung

Thailand’s Central Group opened its first-ever B2S stationery and supplies store a few days ago in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc district, nearby nine universities and four industrial parks.

B2S is the first “package” stationery center in Vietnam providing B2S (Business to School) packages, which allows customers to buy everything from furniture and equipment to office machines, computers, and the full range of office supplies.

“Our goal is to make business easier,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuc Vy, CEO of B2S Vietnam. “The store is located in a convenient position, as Thu Duc is the largest university village in the country with many universities as well as industrial parks nearby.”

B2S has a total area of 900 sq m on four floors with more than 6,000 different office and stationery items, ranging from office furniture, computers, printers, cards, and entertainment materials. About 80 per cent of the goods are imported.

The center not only supplies stationery but also trendy fashion and lifestyle products, home décor items, handmade products, accessories and gifts, arts and crafts, handbags, high quality leather products, computer equipment, and electronics.

What differentiates B2S is that it provides multiple channels, such as the modern store in Thu Duc district, a professional B2B sales team, and online shopping. It also has a co-working space on its 4th floor for startups, offering a creativity corner designed for young people.

Domestic stationery enterprises are now actively investing in the production of stationery products to expand in Vietnam’s market of more than 90 million people. B2S’s opening its first stationery center promises to open up opportunities for domestic stationery businesses to grow stronger in the future and will support startups in line with the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

Vietnam’s stationery market is valued at about $175 million annually and has seen average growth of 10 per cent per year since 2014, according to Viet Capital Securities. This has been helped by a large and young population as well as increasing demand for educational services and products, with consumers more inclined to pay for quality.

Ho Chi Minh City already has more than 1,500 family-owned stationery stores. Some of the larger ones are incorporated into bookstores. Based on the 60 stores in its home market, the Thai model offers a broader range as well as innovations like online service and free delivery.

The Central Group entered Vietnam in 2011 and has seen rapid expansion through acquisitions, franchises and joint ventures. It paid $1.14 billion last year to France’s Casino Group to acquire the Big C supermarket business in the country and plans to double the Big C chain from 34 outlets and to develop 13 larger commercial complexes by 2021.

Central also acquired 49 per cent of the electronics retailer Nguyen Kim, along with e-commerce platform Zalora Vietnam.

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