In early October, a Deloitte Vietnam survey highlighted several transformative trends in the country’s retail industry and opportunities for retailers to innovate and develop omnichannel strategies. One trend that stood out was the accelerated normalization of omnichannel retail post-pandemic.
AEON Tan Phu Celadon, Source: AEON Vietnam
“Most of today’s Vietnamese consumers in urban areas are accustomed to omnichannel shopping, making purchases through physical stores, brand websites and third-party instant messaging platforms and food delivery apps – switching between them to find the right delivery slot or promotional deals,” the report said.
Vu Duc Nguyen, Head of Vietnam Consumer Industry at Deloitte, said, “Over the coming year, the retail sector in Vietnam is expected to experience a rapid rebound. We believe that at least some of the new omnichannel habits will become permanent as consumers get used to the convenience they offer.
The omnichannel march is relentless, and last month’s Vietnam Report retail survey showed that of the top 10 reputable retail companies in 2022 for fast-moving consumer goods and supermarkets, half are large companies implementing the integrated model.
Saigon Co.op Mart, a chain of domestic supermarkets and retail stores, overtook other major foreign retail brands such as AEON and Lotte to take third place.
Nguyen Ngoc Thang, director of the operations division of Saigon Co.opmart, said the sector has returned to positive growth in the first nine months of this year.
“Total retail sales of consumer goods and services at the end of September in Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Co.opmart’s key market, reached approximately $35 billion, up nearly 26% from at the same time in 2021,” Thang said.
Retail trade is the sector with the most impressive recovery rate among economic sectors, and its development prospects will be even brighter in the last months of the year, according to the General Statistics Office.
In the first nine months of 2022, total retail sales of consumer goods and services are estimated at $181 billion, up 21% from the same period last year, despite inflation, which caused prices to rise.
Vietnam Report’s retail survey shows that nearly 54% of retail businesses have achieved business performance at and above pre-pandemic levels, with large companies with an orderly business strategy having a recovery rate and growing faster than others. A total of 46.2% of businesses agree that developing new omnichannel retail models will be one of their five key strategies going forward.
Over the past three years, along with opening other hypermarkets, Saigon Co.op has been focusing on developing various retail models and launching a chain of safe and convenient grocery stores. , which also apply electronic label technology to automatically adjust selling prices. The pandemic meant that the brand only opened 40 new outlets in 2021, but this plan will continue this year with the objective of opening three to five more supermarkets, hypermarkets, shopping centers and 80 to 100 to small retail stores.
The omnichannel model is not new and is being actively developed by many large retailers such as WinCommerce, the operator of WinMart supermarkets and convenience stores WinMart+, and the supermarket and retail store system under AEON Vietnam. WinCommerce is the largest modern retailer in Vietnam, with nearly 3,000 supermarkets and WinMart/WinMart+ stores in 60 localities, one-third of which are supermarkets and convenience stores in Hanoi.
WinMart+ convenience stores follow the all-in-one model. Consumers can buy basic necessities, have a drink and use cheap telecommunications services. The integration of services and utilities has helped WinMart+ attract customers from many segments.
Nguyen Trong Tuan, Director of Supermarket Division of WinMart, said, “In 2022, WinMart/WinMart+ will enter an acceleration phase and aim to increase its size by 10 times by 2025.”
Central Retail, a retail leader in Thailand with 12 years of investment and expansion in Vietnam, currently has over 300 stores and 39 malls, including GO!, Tops Market, Big C, Lan Chi Mart, Nguyen Kim, Supersports and LookKool.
Following the success of the omni-channel retail model achieved in the Thai market, Central Retail has effectively established an omni-channel retail platform for the food business, generating more than 8% of Central Retail’s total sales in Vietnam.
According to Central Retail Vietnam CEO Olivier Langlet, the company plans to invest more than $869 million over the next five years, with four key objectives: to become the leading omnichannel platform in food and real estate in Vietnam ; bringing sales to $2.8 billion; double the penetration of omnichannel sales; and expand its presence to 55 of the 63 provinces.
AEON Vietnam, a large Japanese retailer, seems to be slower than other competitors in implementing the omnichannel model. However, over the past two years, the group has made great strides in increasing the number of supermarkets and stores.
Currently, AEON Vietnam is developing five retail business zones with seven malls, department stores and supermarkets, 12 small and medium supermarkets, more than 20 specialty stores, one AEON e-commerce site and two distribution centers.
“The first 10 years were AEON’s development phase in the Vietnamese market. We will continuously test, launch and evaluate new retail models to meet customer needs and build momentum for future growth,” said Furusawa Yasuyuki, General Manager of AEON Vietnam.