VietNamNet Bridge – Japanese retailers are pursuing their business strategy to open more convenience stores, malls and mini-marts within the next few years.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Aeon Mall Ha Dong shopping mall project was held several days ago. Aeon’s fifth shopping center in Vietnam, it was capitalized at $200 million, and is expected to open by early 2019.
A source said Aeon has poured $600 million into its five centers. However, the retail giant has just completed only a quarter of the path it wants to follow – setting up 20 shopping centers in Vietnam by 2020.
Iwamura Yasutsugu, CEO of Aeon Mall, confirmed that Aeon is considering opening more shopping malls in upcoming years in areas near large cities, about a 2-3 hour drive away, and plans to set up retail points in northern, central and southern regions in the future.
By the end of 2017, Japanese investors had committed 3,599 foreign direct invested projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of $49.46 billion, becoming the second largest foreign investor in the country.
Masataka Sam Yoshida from RECOF, a consultancy firm on M&A, predicted that retail and non-banking sectors (finance companies, finance leasing companies and non-bank credit institutions) top the list of investment fields of Japanese investors.
Investors have been expanding their network quickly in the convenience store and mini mart segments.
As of the end of 2017, Vietnam had 800 supermarkets, 150 shopping malls, 9,000 traditional markets and 2.2 million retail shops. Convenience stores and mini marts are the fastest growing market segments.
In 2014, Aeon began conquering the convenience store market segment when acquiring a controlling stake in two grocery chains – Fivimart and Citimart, where it held 30 percent and 49 percent of shares, respectively.
Together with big retail centers such as Aeon Mall Ha Dong, Aeon has also been developing its mini marts.
To date, FamilyMart has 100 shops and plans to have more than 800 shops by 2020. 7-Eleven plans to open 100 shops in the next three years and 1,000 shops in 10 years.
Targeting clients aged 18-35, Miniso’s biggest markets are large cities, with 16 supermarkets in Hanoi and 14 in HCMC.
According to Nguyen Bach Thuy Linh, chair and CEO of SNB Distribution, the sale of Japanese goods went slowly 10 years ago because the goods were too expensive for the majority of Vietnamese. However, Vietnamese incomes have improved.
Linh predicted that 2018 will be the peak time for consumption of Japanese goods.
Photo: Aeon Mall