Newcomers to the Vietnamese retail market are keen on expanding their businesses despite low consumption, the Vietnam Investment Review reported on May 21.

At its recent shareholder meeting, the management board of Hanoi-based Son Ha Corporation, a leading industrial stainless steel product manufacturer in the domestic market, said the company would expand its Hiway supercentre system in the north of the country.

The Hiway supercentre system, managed by Hiway Vietnam JSC, was developed by Son Ha and its foreign partners for a total investment of 40 million USD. Son Ha Corporation holds a 75.8 percent stake in the project.

Hiway has opened two supercentres in Hanoi: Hiway Ha Dong and Hiway Ngoc Khanh, and is about to open a third in Hanoi’s Tu Liem district of a similar scale to the BigC Thang Long supermarket.

With active financial support from state giant Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Hiway Vietnam envisages launching 10 more supercentres in Hanoi over the next five years.

Another example is Ho Chi Minh City-based Ocean Group, which made its debut in the retail market in 2012 with its Ocean Mart system managed by Ocean Retail JSC.

Last year Ocean Retail posted revenues of 1.1 trillion VND (52.3 million USD) and profits of nearly 10 billion VND (476,000 USD).

Ocean group has mulled over a network of 70-80 supermarkets and trade centres across the country by 2015. The group has aimed at becoming one of the leading retail brands in Vietnam.

Ocean Retail has now managed eight Ocean Marts (mostly in Hanoi).

One of the company’s current priorities is promoting convenience stores in residential density places, as well as in medium and high end living areas.

Though retail is not the core business of these companies, they have different advantages and are making great strides toward positioning themselves firmly in the Vietnamese market.-VNA