Japanese retail giant Aeon Co. said that it has reached an agreement on a business tie-up with two of Vietnam’s major retailers Fivimart Co. and Citimart Co. in a bid to develop supermarket business in Vietnam.
Fivimart Co. is the largest supermarket company in Hanoi, operating 20 stores in the capital city. Citimart Co. is the largest supermarket operator in southern Vietnam, operating 27 stores mainly in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in the region.
Aeon Co. has been promoting a “Shift to Asian Markets” strategy, working together with the group companies in China and countries of the ASEAN region. It’s one of the group’s strategies under its medium-term management plan.
In Vietnam, the company launched Aeon Financial Service Co. in 2008 which made it the first Japanese company to engage in instalment sales in the country. Two years later, Ministop launched its CVS convenience store business in 2011. In January 2014, Aeon opened its first shopping mall in Vietnam, Aeon Mall Tan Phu Celadon, in Ho Chi Minh City, becoming one of the country’s largest shopping mall. This was followed by the second mall, the Aeon Mall Binh Duong Canary, opened in Binh Duong province in November 2014. With the plan to open its third mall in Hanoi this year and other proactive initiatives ahead, Aeon continue to broaden its business in the country.
“Toward the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community planned at the end of 2015, the ASEAN countries began integrating and further economic growth is expected in the area. Vietnam, in particular is making prominent growth in its market, backed by a population in excess of 90 million and a high economic growth rate that has contributed to an expanding middle class,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“In order to achieve rapid growth in Vietnamese market as such, we believe the partnerships with Fivimart Co. and Citimart Co.; the companies with strong business foundations in two of the largest cities in north and south of the country as well as knowledge about the varying regionally oriented customer needs, are of great significance,” it added.
Aeon sees Vietnam as its second most important market in Southeast Asia after Malaysia and plans to have 200 stores across the country eventually and to grow sales to $848 million.
(The Japan Times Online)