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Retailers expand despite fall in demand

Update: July, 18/2012 - 10:18

HA NOI — Despite a decrease in consumption demands and retail turnover, domestic retailers are continuing to open more outlets in the capital with an eye on industry potential.

The Son Ha Group, which specialises in stainless steel water tanks and construction, has recently opened its first store in the capital's Ha Dong District.

The group said that it would open two more outlets in Cau Giay and Tu Liem this year. It has also targeted to open 20 supermarkets nationwide in the next five years.

The Nhat Nam Joint Stock Company, owner of the Fivimart supermarket chain, opened its 14th supermarket last month on Ba Dinh's Doi Can Street.

The FLC real estate group also opened its first mart in Tu Liem District in May.

Existing retailers are still seeking good locations in crowded residential areas to open more outlets. In Ha Dong District, for example, there will be a Metro supermarket opened soon, although the area has two large Co.op Mart and Hiway outlets already.

Vu Thi Hau, head of the Fivimart supermarket chain, said that existing retailers planned to gain a firmer foothold in the local market before foreign retailers encroached.

Chairman of the Ha Noi Supermarket Association Vu Vinh Phu said that the retail turnover of supermarkets last month decreased 10-12 per cent over the same period last year, however, retailers and industry experts were still optimistic about the industry's prospects.

Retailers said there was no concern as the local retail industry had surged 20-30 per cent on average for the past 15 years. The proportion of the modern retail system, including supermarkets, accounted for only 20 per cent of the country's total retail industry, so there were still opportunities for the modern retail system to develop further.

Hoang Tho Xuan from the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Trade Research Institute said that Viet Nam's retail market still had a lot of potential as existing retailers were yet to meet the demands and tastes of local consumers.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Retailers Association Phan The Rue also said as the Government had taken measures to stabilise the macroeconomy and control inflation, it would be difficult for the local retail market to develop significantly, however, the difficulties were only temporary.

In the current context, only retailers, whose financial status, distribution and supply systems and corporate governance were good, had opportunities to develop, Rue said. — VNS

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