Despite being severely affected by Covid-19, the retail and services sector is still expected to grow in 2022.

According to a report on the socio-economic situation in 2021 from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, retail and services were the most affected by the pandemic, especially in the third quarter, with GDP in the sector falling 28.1 per cent.

A survey of 15,000 retailers by Sapo, which specializes in providing retail solutions, shows that 75.2 per cent said revenue did not grow last year compared to 2020, while 37.1 per cent posted losses of more than 30 per cent. Only 23.9 per cent reported rising profits.

The prolonged pandemic and social distancing measures caused supply chain disruptions, directly affecting logistics. Some retailers could not deliver orders or had high cancellation rates. Covid-19 also created a shortage of human resources in the transport sector.

From the end of 2021, thanks to wide vaccination coverage and economic stimulus packages, Vietnam was gradually controlling the pandemic and adapting to the “new normal”. Consumer demand once again became the driving force of growth. Retail and services will be quick to catch up with post-lockdown spending trends, promising a brighter 2022. Some 46.7 per cent of retailers believe the market will recover while 14.5 per cent expect to witness strong growth this year.

However, 9.4 per cent of retailers remain pessimistic, given that the emergence of the Omicron variant may slow down economic recovery.