By Phuoc Buu
Customers buy garments at a market in Ha Noi. Vietnamese shopping habits have changed with more people focusing on ways to save time and ensure convenience. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HCM CITY — Consuming habits among Vietnamese urban residents have changed, leading to fairer competition among businesses.
Urban consumers are buying more goods in one shopping trip for convenience and savings of time.
A report by Kantar WorldPanel, based on national General Statistics Office figures and surveys in four key cities, shows that 67 per cent of urban housewives bought big package-size items. Nearly 71 per cent of them bought all grocery items they needed at only one store.
The surveys were conducted in HCM City, Can Tho, Da Nang and Ha Noi.
More than 60 per cent of shoppers explained that they found it easier to find products. They said there were more products and choices than ever before.
Better quality products and frequent promotions can be found in the modern shopping centres.
The English consumer research company Kantar WorldPanel concluded that although modern shopping trade is underdeveloped in Viet Nam, it is expected to catch up with other Southeast Asian countries in the next decade.
The retail market will be composed of nearly 100 million people by 2020, it said.
A huge proportion of these consumers will be more educated and at early stage of their productive career, resulting in higher purchasing power and stronger desire of premium goods.
Experts also expect the trend will boost the development of local brands and hypermarkets or supermarkets. Reports by the company show that the three leading modern retailers are CoopMart, Big C and METRO.
The CoopMart and Big C are local companies selling fast-moving consumer goods (FMG) from local producers like Vinamilk Corporation, MASAN food and Tan Hiep Phat beverage, in addition to leading international brands produced locally, including Unilever Viet Nam, Coca Cola Viet Nam and Pepsico Viet Nam.
In rural areas, traditional trade is still the dominant channel. However, rural consumers are spending more for FMCG and their average spending could reach the urban level in four years.
Companies have been urged to create more distribution channels to access rural areas, where 70 per cent of the population lives.
In particular, they need better entertainment and communication devices as well as healthcare.
Modern shopping trends are expected to enhance the compliance with the Law on Consumer Rights Protection, which took effect in July.
Speaking at a workshop held by MUTRAP III, the EU's programme to assist Viet Nam trade, Dr Vu Thi Bach Nga, head of the Consumer Protection Division under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said unclear origin of goods and no receipts exist in traditional retail trade. Customers often do not know how to use instructions and are reluctant about informing sellers of damaged items.
Under the new law, trade centres must check origin of goods, show clear information on products, and give customers receipts after transactions.
Experts expect the new law and consumer shopping trends to improve the quality of trade and create a fair business environment. — VNS