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Opening new supermarkets means seeking new opportunities in crisis   2009-06-23 - VietNamNet/SGTT

Despite lower demand and the struggling global economy, retailers are still moving ahead with plans to open new supermarkets and trade centres in Hanoi and HCM City. Eight supermarkets and convenience stores have opened in the last ten days in HCM City.


The eight new supermarkets and convenience stores comprise two Co-op Food shops on Tran Chanh Chieu and Chu Van An streets, five Circle K convenience stores and one new supermarket, called Starmart, on Quang Trung street in Go Vap district.


While the network of traditional markets has gradually narrowed (Binh Phu market stopped running on June 18, 2009; dozens of other markets are being upgraded or reprogrammed), nearly 50 convenience stores were opened in the first six months of the year in residential quarters, on first floors of apartment blocs and in Phu My Hung new urban area.


Retailers are continuing on with their plans to expand their retail networks. Tran Thi Kim Quyen, Deputy General Director of Saigon Co-op, said that the chain will open a new supermarket in mid July 2009 in Ninh Thuan province, and three more supermarkets in Ha Tinh, Long An and HCM City in the third quarter of the year.


Saigon Co-op plans to raise the number of its supermarkets to 100 throughout the country by 2015, while it plans to open 10-12 more supermarkets in 2009.


By June 2009, Co-op Mart had 37 supermarkets, including 20 in HCM City and 17 in other southern provinces and the central region. The chain is also planning to put 20 Co-op Food into operation in 2009.


Meanwhile, Vong Tron Do (Red Circle) Company, which is running Circle K, is planning to open 500 stores more in the next 10 years, including 5-10 stores in 2009 in HCM City.


Foocomart convenience stores have appeared in districts 1, 5 and 8, while they were already in many other districts. Unlike other convenience stores, Foocomart stores are located inside residential quarters and they provide essential goods like processed food, sugar, vegetable oil, and spices.


Opportunities seen in crisis


Though demand has been decreasing, modern retail channels have still reported turnover increases.


Bui Thi Hanh Thu, Deputy General Director of Co-op Mart, said that Co-op mart has seen the turnover growth rate of 47 percent over the same period of last year.


The decision to open three Daiso supermarkets in Hanoi, Buon Ma Thuot and HCM City has helped Tri Phuc Company obtain turnover double that of its plan. Nguyen Thuy Trang, Tri Phuc’s Managing Director, said that economic difficulties have brought opportunities to the trading of goods with reasonable prices. Tri Phuc plans to open 20 more supermarkets in the next year.


Nowadays, housewives all want to save time, which has pushed them to convenience stores. A quick survey on consumers’ satisfaction index (CSI) and habits of purchasing food of households conducted by Saigon Co-op market showed that more than 90 percent of female consumers believe that purchasing food at convenience stores helps them save time and energy.

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