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Vietnamese retailers look to foreign retail markets

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As the competition in the domestic retail market heats up, big Vietnamese-owned retail chains are considering neighboring markets like Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

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In late June, The Gioi Di Dong JSC, which owns the largest mobile phone distribution chain in Vietnam, opened its first shop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The shop in Cambodia is named BigPhone, but it has a brand identity like The Gioi Di Dong shops in Vietnam.

BigPhone focuses on mobile phones and tablets which account for 85 percent of products displayed at the shop, while the remaining 15 percent are accessories, simcards and scratch cards. The mobile phones available are from Samsung, Apple, Nnokia, Huawei, Oppo, Camfone and LG.

The Gioi Di Dong hopes it can earn $100,000 a month from the first shop, and plans to open 10-15 shops in Cambodia this year.

A senior executive of Pico, a home appliance distribution chain, in early 2016 told the press that the chain was considering penetrating markets like Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Of the neighboring markets, Myanmar is the first choice because of favorable conditions of the market: it is easy to find retail premises, and there is less competition. 

Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, when he was chair of Saigon Co-op, affirmed the importance of foreign markets for Saigon Co-op, saying that the retail chain targets Laos and Cambodia for its plan to expand the network.

“The most important thing in implementing the expansion plan is that Saigon Co-op find reliable partners in doing business overseas,” he said.

A senior executive of Pico said he can see that there would be both economic and non-economic barriers in the Cambodia and Myanmar markets. He said it would take time to learn about the consumption habits, local culture, the laws and economic factors of the target markets.

Ho Viet Dong, CEO of The Gioi Di Dong in Cambodia, said though the retail chain has good relations with mobile phone manufacturers, it still faces difficulties in doing business in Cambodia. 

“The mobile phone market here is very complicated,” he said. “Besides, the training of the labor force for long-term business plan also needs consideration.”

Meanwhile, according to Saigon Co-op’s CEO Nguyen Thanh Nhan, the plan to open a supermarket in Cambodia has been delayed because of the change of the Cambodian partner.

 

 

Source: VietNamNet

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