Footwear to focus on local
|Students buy shoes at a
shop on Xuan Thuy Street in Ha Noi. Vietnamese shoes are becoming less
attractive to domestic consumers due to high prices. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
HA NOI — Viet Nam’s footwear industry intends to corner 80 per
cent of the domestic market up to 2015.
This bold claim will prove a big challenge in a market of 86
million people who prefer foreign and illegally imported shoes.
Currently domestic footwear companies have failed to win the
favour of domestic consumers despite of the fact that they are leading footwear
exporters in the world market. In the domestic market, however, companies have
not focused on developing their trademarks. Yet more and more Vietnamese
consumers prefer products with famous brand names.
A director of a domestic shoes company said that in order to
attract domestic customers, his company had to re-import its already exported
He said the products benefited from having import stamps and
foreign tags attached.
This situation has posed something of a paradox for the
Vietnamese footwear industry. It has raised prices and destroyed the trademarks
of domestic footwear products.
Hoang Van Hung, an Agribank official, said that he always
preferred Vietnamese products and had used many made-in-Viet Nam shirts.
However, Hung added, he did not like domestic shoes because they
were not as attractive as imported models but more expensive than
To achieve its 2015 target, the industry will have to seek for
some major solutions. Companies are being advised to change their strategies by
improving their design, cutting costs and taking distribution and advertising
According to an examination of the industry, the quality of
Vietnamese footwear products is no worse than other countries. However, domestic
consumers still prefer imported shoes as they are cheaper and have more varied
and better designs.
Domestic footwear companies must pay attention to improving
designs. This would be the best way to compete with import shoes, said Nguyen
Duc Thuan, chairman of the Viet Nam Footwear Association.
Cutting down costs was also an important method.
About 80 per cent of the materials used to make shoes in Viet
Nam have been imported. This has raised the price of shoes in Viet Nam.
If the industry adopts these measures, domestic consumers may be
more inclined to buy locally produced products, offering real competition to
imported shoes. — VNS