Aeon, Japan’s biggest supermarket chain, has officially launched its first Vietnam shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City as part of its Asia shift strategy.

Aeon President Motoya Okada was quoted by the Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) as saying that his group was seeking to operate up to 20 shopping malls in Vietnam by 2020.

Vietnam is the third foreign country, after China and Malaysia, to have an Aeon shopping mall.

Okada said at the Aeon Mall Tan Phu Celadon grand opening in Ho Chi Minh City on January 11 that one of the key targets of Aeon in Vietnam was to win the heart of Vietnamese consumers. Towards this end, in addition to high quality products and service, Aeon Vietnam focuses on human capital development to create embedded staff.

The first Aeon shopping mall in Vietnam includes a mall with a total floor space of 50,000 square metres together with 1,500 staff, and a general merchandise stores (GMS) section with 23,000 square metres and 500 staff. One-third of the goods and products at the mall comes from Japan, another one-third are Vietnamese products, and the rest are imports.

The second shopping mall is set for opening this October in nearby Binh Duong province, and the third in Hanoi next year.

Aeon’s 135-million-USD Vietnam arm’s cores are retail, developing shopping malls, GMS, export and import business.

The group in 2013 shipped about 60 million USD worth of Vietnamese products to Japan, Aeon vice president Nagahisa Oyama told the VIR.-VNA