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Supermarkets in Vietnam looking to get smart for growth   2009-10-21 - VietNamNet/VnMedia

Supermarkets are no longer a new concept in Vietnam but now they’re ready to take new steps towards further market growth.


According to Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong, retailing was the industry which witnessed the highest growth rate in Vietnam in the first nine months of the year. The bank has predicted the sector will obtain the revenue of $85 billion by 2012.


However, despite the impressively high growth rate of 16 percent per annum of the retail system, to date supermarkets have lacked investment needed to maximise their appeal.


In HCM City, supermarkets have found that similar products selling at similar prices have meant it has been difficult to develop customer loyalty. However boosting loyalty is at the heart of many of their future plans.


According to deputy director of Saigon Co-op Mart, Phan Thanh Nhan, the retailer has realised that convenience stores, which are located near homes houses in residential quarters, offer fresh food and good services.


 With this is in mind, Saigon Co-op Mart has decided to develop Co-op Food stores. It is expected that the retailer will have 120 Co-op food stores by 2012.


Meanwhile, Maximark has realised that the majority of customers want to purchase wide ranges of products at the same address.


Therefore, Maximark’s 5-storey new shopping centre which will be put into operation in the first quarter of 2010.  It will include fashion products, cosmetics, household wares, restaurants and cinemas.


In order to attract more customers, supermarkets have continuously launched sales promotion programmes. Big C, for example, is offering its “low price every day” programme applied to fresh and processed food and consumer goods.


Big C’s general director Pascal Billaud said that in its development plan, consumers will be given the chance to ‘give marks’ to products, so that the distributor can provide the best products to customers


Meanwhile, Citimart has a more unusual approach. It includes both the wholesale and retail price on goods. When consumers’ bill’s show they have purchased two million dong worth of goods, they are allowed to purchase a product, next time, at the wholesale price.


Lotte Mart in HCM City has focused on convenience in shopping. Meat counters also sell butchers’ knives.  They can also get the right spices to compliment the meat at the same counter. At the fruit stall, staff will even help peel the goods.

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