People shop at Vinamart Bien Hoa in southern Dong Nai province (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Several domestic retailers have been actively changing their business strategies to improve their distribution channels after big foreign supermarkets such as Big C and Metro increased discount levels to 20-25 percent.

Vu Vinh Phu, Chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association said Vingroup for example has been continuously expanding their retail system to around 600 Vinmart mini markets and convenience stores nationwide after acquiring the supermarket systems of Oceanmart, Vinatexmart and maximark.

Vingroup has directly invested into their partners as well as signing with producers and suppliers to develop VinEco agricultural products meeting VietGAP standards. The group also set targets to become one of leading suppliers for processed products.

This has been one of their steps to reaffirm Vingroup’s brand name and enhance competitiveness in the retail market, Phu added.

The Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives (Saigon Co.op) has improved the quality of its current supermarkets and is planning to build new business models for different market shares.

Saigon Co.op expects to open 10 new Co.opmart supermarkets in big cities and 20 other small and medium sized supermarkets. By the year 2020, they plan to have 130 Co.opmart supermarkets, 8-10 Co.opXtra and 3-5 Sense City commercial centres. Nguyen Thanh Nhan, Saigon Co.op’s deputy general director said they are committed to cooperate with Vietnamese producers despite pressure in the retail market. Up to 90 percent of goods in their supermarket system are Vietnamese goods.

In addition, Saigon Co.op would continue to research and develop e-commerce, on top of convenience stores to widen their network. This could help local producers in the market, Nhan said.

Saigon Co.op would give priority to Vietnamese goods to help consumers access locally produced products.

Vi Van Quyen, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department said if Vietnamese businesses ensure product quality, they would not be dependent on foreign distribution channels. Especially, the association between retailers and producers would help them to overcome difficulties, Quyen said. However, he said domestic firms should invest into modern science and technology and take advantage of knowing Vietnamese habits to provide suitable products which could compete in both local and foreign distribution channels.

Vietnam’s businesses have also been urged to find new niche markets. The ministry would facilitate local firms in expanding their networks and renewing technologies, he said.-VNA