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First GS25 convenience store opens in HCMC

Released at: 21:56, 20/01/2018

First GS25 convenience store opens in HCMC

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

Fifty more stores to open in Vietnam this year and 2,500 within next decade.

by Hong Nhung

The first outlet of convenience store brand GS25 Vietnam, a joint venture between South Korea’s GS Retail and Vietnam’s SonKim Land, opened in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 on January 19.

Spread over 87 sq m, the store is located on the ground floor of Empress Tower on Hai Ba Trung Street in District 3, close to the city’s CBD. Three more stores will be opened this month, one on Truong Dinh Street, one inside M Plaza, and the other at Viettel building.

GS25 Vietnam aims to open 50 stores this year, in major cities such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and Can Tho. Within ten years, it plans to expand to 2,500 outlets nationwide.

A leading convenience store brand in South Korea, GS25 has more than 12,000 outlets in its home country and holds a market share of around 30 per cent. Targeting young Vietnamese in their 20s and 30s who are familiar with Hallyu - the wave of Korean culture - GS25 offers Korean food and products.

“Convenience stores are not only a location to sell fresh and safe products but also serve as a place to lead food trends and promote cultural images,” said Mr. Yun Ju Young, COO of GS25 Vietnam. “Our products, with the private brand You Us, will be favored by young people like students and office workers.”

He also revealed that GS Retail has invested in a food factory in the Mekong Delta’s Long An province, supplying fresh food for the chain. GS25 is also calling on South Korean investors to invest in Vietnam in order to complete supply chains. In the future, GS Retail plans to export products from Vietnam to South Korea as well as importing many items from the country.

Meanwhile, the SonKim Group, with strengths in the retail sector, expects that bringing GS25 to Vietnam will push up the local retail market, providing reaching-out opportunities for Vietnamese brands. “Bringing GS25 to Vietnam is an opportunity and also a challenge for SonKim, but we believe that we will succeed and will soon take GS25 to the leading position in the convenience store model in Vietnam,” said Mr. Nguyen Hoang Tuan, Chairman of the SonKim Group.

“The GS25 chain in Vietnam will provide a strong complement to Vietnam’s retail trade supply system in the near future. That belief is based on the solid foundation that SonKim has been experiencing in the real estate and retail industries in the past few decades.”

All outlets have cooking and eating stations, with food including Korean-style fried chicken, dumplings, cup of rice, and tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), as well as boxed lunches. Local dishes such as traditional bread and sticky rice and freshly brewed coffee will also be served. All dishes are made at a local factory under GS25 standards.

Mr. Cho Yoon Sung, CEO of GS25, believes that Vietnam’s high economic growth makes it a good starting point for the company’s overseas expansion. The chain also plans to launch in other Asian markets, such as Cambodia and China.

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