‘Franchisers set to eye VN convenience stores’

13 Aug 2019  27 | Business & Trade Fairs

After food and beverage and other sectors, it is the turn of convenience stores franchisers to eye the huge Vietnamese market.

After food and beverage and other sectors, it is the turn of convenience stores franchisers to eye the huge Vietnamese market.

According to experts, Vietnam has all the requisite elements for the retail and franchising industry to boom such as a large consumer base, rapidly rising incomes and a generation of young and educated professionals.

Speaking at a seminar on Building an International Franchise Model held in Ho Chi Minh City last week, GS25 Vietnam managing director Yun Ju-young said Vietnam is among the fastest growing retail markets in Asia, with convenience stores recording strong growth in recent years.

The South Korean convenience store chain GS25 has around 14,000 stores in its home market, 80 per cent of which are franchised.

“There is a high convenience store density in Korea. So we have to look for business opportunities in new markets like Vietnam.”

Vietnam, with a population of nearly 100 million, has around 2,000 stores, meaning there is still great potential for growth, he said.

Vietnam also has policies facilitating foreign investment, he said.

In Korea, convenience stores are not allowed to open within 15m of another, but there is no such restriction in Vietnam, he said.

“GS25 estimated the opportunity in the Vietnamese market to be 50 times higher than in South Korea.”

According to analysts, convenience store franchises will be a new profitable business model because costs are lower than in other sectors while management is easier.

Yun said other convenience store chain franchises from Japan, Taiwan and other countries also want to enter the Vietnamese market.

In addition to foreign franchisers, Vietnamese retailers have also stepped up their franchising efforts.

Saigon Co.op for instance is franchising its Co.op Food convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City and other cities and provinces and targets opening 100 new stores this year.

Retail & Franchise Asia founder and chairwoman Nguyen Phi Van said Vietnam is rated highly by the International Franchise Association as a franchise market.

For the next three years it would continue to attract international brands, especially from its region, she said.

However, many franchises did not succeed and pulled out of the Vietnamese market since they ran their business following the traditional model without applying digital technology, she said.

Retail franchises can no longer follow the traditional model, she said.

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