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Foreign retailers must win over local customers

Released at: 13:25, 25/09/2015

Foreign retailers must win over local customers

Mr. Nguyen Huy Hoang, Business Development Director at Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, tell VET's Hoang Thu about the performance of foreign retailers in Vietnam.

by Hoang Thu

Foreign retailers such as Lotte, Aeon, and Emart have arrived in Vietnam and are seeking opportunities to expand in the country. Conversely, Parkson closed Parkson Keangnam and many modern shopping malls see few customers. What are your thoughts on these conflicting stories?

Many market opportunities still exist in Vietnam. The important thing is how you translate those opportunities into a concrete, detailed, and actionable implementation plan.

Those who are successful are those who bring global or regional expertise and best practice to Vietnam to satisfy the rapidly-changing needs of local shoppers and who deeply understand the attitudes and behaviors of local shoppers and are able to create suitable touch-points to win the hearts and wallets of shoppers in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment.

What are the greatest challenges facing foreign retailers in Vietnam?

There are some challenges foreign retailers must deal with when they operate in Vietnam, including understanding the rapidly-changing mindset, attitudes and behavior of local shoppers, location, adopting a sustainable investment plan and growth strategies on a long-term basis, competition with emerging local retailers (like Saigon Co.op, Vingroup, and Satra), and the fiercer competition from traditional local retailers, especially medium and large-sized “Ma & Pa shops”.

Many people and businesses still talk about the potential of retail in Vietnam. What are your thoughts?

Retailing is now one of the hottest industries in Vietnam. Considering that Traditional Trade now accounts for about 90 per cent nationally and Modern Trade just 10 per cent, there are many opportunities for both local and international retailers to enter the market, educate the market, and develop the market towards more Modern Trade.

On top of that, emerging channels are growing significantly in major urban cities in Vietnam, such as Convenience Stores / Mini-Stores, Specialty Stores, One-Stop Shopping Malls, and E-commerce.

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