Japan's Aeon to open 4th megastore, eyes expansion in Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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A file photo shows Aeon Mall in Vietnam's southern province of Binh Duong
Japanese retail giant Aeon has revealed an ambitious plan for Vietnam, where the retail market is forecast to grow nearly 12 percent a year to around US$179 billion in 2020.
Under the plan announced at a press conference on Tuesday, 20 megastores of the chain Aeon Mall in be opened in Vietnam, local media reported.
Since its arrival in 2014, the retailer has opened three megastores into Vietnam and the fourth is scheduled to be opened in Ho Chi Minh City's Binh Tan District this July.
Aeon also plans to have 100 supermarkets around the country through mergers and acquisitions, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper said. It now runs 30 Aeon Citimart supermarkets, after acquiring a stake of 49 percent in local retailer Citimart in 2014.
The company also plans to collaborate with local manufacturers to produce consumer goods under its brand Top Value for both the Vietnamese and overseas markets, according to the newspaper.
Vietnam's retail sales rose 10.6 percent from 2014 to VND2,469 trillion ($109.4 billion) last year, according to official figures.
Vibrant market
Last month, Big C Vietnam, currently the largest foreign-owned retail chain in Vietnam with 33 supermarkets and 11 convenience stores, announced its most ambitious expansion plan with seven new stores this year.
The plan was revealed soon after Thailand's Central Group acquired the chain from France's Casino Group for 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion).
In a recent interview with the Bangkok Post, Tos Chirathivat, CEO of the Thai retailer, said it will put more focus on expanding its retail business in the new strategic market Vietnam, where its retail sales hit 40 billion baht last year.
Last year Central bought a stake of 49 percent in electronics chain Nguyen Kim, which has recently acquired the local operation of online fashion marketplace Zalora from Germany's Rocket Internet. In 2014, the group opened two Robins department stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Despite the growth prospects, there have been concerns after Malaysia's Parkson decided to close a mall in the burgeoning shopping precinct of HCMC's District 7.

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