Retail market shows great potential

The retail market is expected to pick up despite a recent fall in purchasing power.

Retailers are making great efforts to expand their distribution networks, develop trademarks and build consumer trust.

The HCM City Statistical Office says in the first half of this year, retail sales of goods and services fetched less than US$270,000 billion in revenue, just 21.3 percent higher than the same period last year.

Retail business grew at 8.9 percent, a bit lower than the 9.2 percent growth rate recorded a year earlier. 

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According to a recent survey on consumer trust conducted by Nielsen Vietnam, a leading provider of marketing and consumer information, many Vietnamese are still concerned about the impact of the global economic downturn on the national economy, which has driven up the prices of essential goods such as electricity, water, gas and food.

Around 66 percent of consumers surveyed consider their saving as their best choice for the time being.

In spite of less spending on entertainment and house upgrades in the second quarter than in the first, the retail market shows some positive signs of bouncing back in the second half as consumer spending is growing in tandem with a rise in travel services (up 32 percent),  and sales of clothing and advanced technology products (up 28-29 percent respectively).

Over the year, retailers as well as supermarket chains have managed to lure more customers through discount and sales promotion campaigns.

The Big C supermarket, for instance, has offered 10-50 percent discounts on more than 1,300 different kinds of products from July 25 to August 12.

Many new high-quality products including home-made ones are available for customers.

For example, Lotte Mark is focusing on Korean brands while Big C and Co-op Mart display products bearing their own trademarks.

The Vice Chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Nguyen Thi Hong, says boosting the production of products bearing exclusive brand names will help diversify products in the market at reasonable prices.

The Deputy Director of the HCM City Industry and Trade Department, Huynh Khanh Hiep, says there should be closer coordination between businesses to promote the consumption of domestic goods in traditional markets.

The department is conducting a survey on the use of domestic goods to provide businesses with a scientific foundation to do market research.

The Director of the Business Research and Support Centre, Vu Kim Hanh, says developing traditional retail markets will create better opportunities for businesses to deliver goods to the hands of consumers.

The President of the Executive Board of Saigon Co-op Mart, Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, says fierce competition among domestic retailers requires greater efforts on their part to meet high customer demand and secure a firm foothold in the market.

Co-op Mart has recently opened many more shops in industrial parks and export processing zones to serve workers.

Big C has actively engaged in HCM City’s price stabilization programme for 2012-13, with five of its supermarkets being in the vanguard.

Besides cornering the market in HCM City, retailers are planning to bring products bearing their own trademarks to other provinces and cities.

Big C and Nam Cuu Long Joint Stock Company have officially inaugurated a large supermarket and a trade centre in Can Tho city.  This is the 19th Big C outlet in Vietnam and the first one in the Mekong Delta to serve customers in the southwestern region.

 Meanwhile, Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam has announced a project to build a new wholesale centre in Rach Gia city, Kien Giang province, the 18th business park in Vietnam.