Modern retailing represented by foreign and domestic powerhouses is catching on in Vietnam, taking the place of brick-and-mortar businesses, according to experts.

The home retail market is now full of convenience stores, supermarkets and shopping malls. Foreign giants Walmart, Auchan and Robinson are eyeing or even starting their operations here, said Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department Tran Nguyen Nam at a forum in Hanoi on October 13.

In her view, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Retailers’ Association Dinh Thi My Loan warned that more and more foreign retailers will vie for the lion’s share in Vietnam. The trend will bring along both opportunities and challenges, forcing domestic rivals to strengthen their edges.

The association’s position is that authorities must carefully consider granting license to retailers. In the meantime, it is unnecessary to protect domestic distributors, but there should be transparency when it comes to draw foreign investment, Loan said.

According to the ministry, Vietnam recorded 724 supermarkets, 132 trade centres of various kinds, around 9,000 markets and 1 million family-run outlets by the end of 2013.

By 2020, as many as 1,200-1,300 supermarkets, 180 trade centres and 157 shopping malls are predicted to operate in the country.-VNA