Vietnam boasts a huge potential for the development of convenience shopping outlets, market research company Nielsen Vietnam said in its report released during a roundtable in Hanoi on May 29.

Nielsen Vietnam elaborated that 57 percent of the country’s population is under the age of 35, monthly per capita income is on the rise and up to 73 percent of consumers are willing to pay for high-quality services and products.

The average number of customers per convenience store in Vietnam is 69,000, dwarfing the figures in nearby Thailand (5,556), Malaysia (7,040), and Singapore (7,300), the firm found.

Nguyen Huong Quynh from Nielsen Vietnam said the aforementioned figures show that there is still a huge potential for convenience stores and mini supermarket chains to develop in the Southeast Asian nation.

She added that although the prices at these facilities can be 10-20 percent higher than in traditional markets or hypermarkets, the chains offer consumers convenience and a wide range of high quality goods.

While the operation of trade centres and hypermarkets has proved to be less efficient than expected, the emergence of mini supermarkets and convenience stores is a new consumption trend, Chairwoman of the Association of Vietnam Retailers Dinh Thi My Loan said.

These facilities are also so successful because of their flexible opening times and careful attention to minimising price differences within the market. She recognised Vietnamese companies’ efforts to open convenience stores and mini supermarkets, such as the Coop Food and Satrafood stores run by the Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives (Saigon Coop), to win consumers’ trust.

Participants in the roundtable pointed out the major challenges faced by domestic firms, such as the lack of funding and retail space, and insufficient management experience.

They suggested local businesses support families that run small groceries stores and existing mini super markets by expanding retail space and training personnel, as well as cooperating with each other to enlarge their networks.-VNA