HCM CITY — Opening mini supermarkets and convenience stores is becoming a new retail trend in HCM City.
Many people do not want to go to supermarkets for minor purchases because of the time it takes for parking and queuing up.
There is no inherent advantage in shopping in supermarkets either, with the prices of some products being higher there than outside and the quality of frozen food not being uniformly good.
Thus, mini supermarkets and convenience stores are an idea whose time has possibly come, especially in suburban areas.
Vu Van Trinh, general director of the Titanmart chain, concurred. His company found that demand for fresh foods and others was increasing rapidly in suburban areas like Hoc Mon, and Thu Duc Districts, so it decided to set up mini supermarkets there, he added.
There has been early success. Trinh said his company had eight mini supermarkets which last year achieved a revenue growth of 20 per cent.
"We are looking for places to open more mini supermarkets this year and at the start of 2013," he told Viet Nam News.
The Viet Nam Fashion Trading Company Ltd (Vinatexmart) has this year opened two new mini supermarkets, which boosted first-half turnover by 10-12 per cent.
The company plans to open three more this year.
The city Department of Industry and Trade reports that there are 251 convenience shores and mini supermarkets in the city, four times the 2005 number.
Typically, these outlets are 200-1,000sq.m in size and offer a great deal of convenience to customers by stocking 5,000-10,000 items including fresh food, garments, cosmetics, and footwear.
They are attractively displayed and frequently offer promotions.
Nguyen Thi Ut of District 9 said she had no time to go to traditional markets because of her business, and often shopped in convenience stores.
"They supply everything I need at reasonable prices," she said.
Besides supplying fresh food, these shops also play an important part in stabilising prices with their promotional programmes.
Many mini supermarkets like Foocomart, Titanmart, An Khang, and Satarmart also offer free delivery.
Vu Kim Hanh, director of the Centre for Business Studies and Assistance, said the new trend created a reliable distribution system for consumers and helped companies sell their products.
It also managed to take Vietnamese goods to suburban and rural areas, she added. — VNS