|Customers shop at the Saigon Co-Op supermarket in HCM City.The country's retail sector has been transformed by a range of factors including a boost from foreign retail distributors. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HA NOI — Viet Nam's total retail sales and service revenues reached VND2,618 trillion (US$124.66 billion), up 12.6 per cent year-on-year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.
The revenue increase, however, was the lowest seen in the past four years, compared with the 24.5 per cent, 14.2 per cent, and 16 per cent increases seen in 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively.
Vu Manh Ha, a senior expert at the GSO Trade Department, blamed this year's slower retail sales pace on low local demand as customers have curbed spending to focus only on buying or using essential goods and services.
Many enterprises in the retail sector, meanwhile, had to restrict their business expansion plans as they continued to encounter obstacles including capital shortages, a high volume of stockpiled goods, and increasing prices of raw materials, Ha said.
The trade sector, which accounted for nearly 80 per cent of total revenues, rose 12.2 per cent over the same period last year, while hotel and restaurant services' revenues were up 15.2 per cent, and the tourism sector saw a modest rise of 3.5 per cent.
During this year, foreign-invested enterprises posted the highest revenue rise of 33 per cent, followed by the local private sector, with 15.3 per cent. Notably, State-owned companies saw an 8.6 per cent slump in total retail sales.
The country's retail sector, with a boost from foreign retail distributors, has initially proven it has changed for the better.
At present, there are 650 supermarkets in 59 of the 63 provinces and cities across the country and 117 shopping centres in 32 provinces and cities. — VNS