Despite a decrease in consumption demands and retail turnover, domestic retailers are continuing to open more outlets in the capital with an eye on industry potential.

The Son Ha group, which specialises in stainless steel water tanks and construction, has recently opened its first store in the capital’s Ha Dong District.

The group said that it will open two more outlets in Cau Giay and Tu Liem in 2012. It has also targeted to open 20 supermarkets nationwide in the next five years.

The Nhat Nam Joint Stock Company, owner of Fivimart supermarket chain, opened its 14th supermarkets last month on Doi Can Street.

The FLC real estate group also opened its first mart in Tu Liem District in May.

Existing retailers are still seeking good locations in crowded residential areas to open more outlets. In Ha Dong District, for example, there will be a Metro supermarket opened soon, although the area has two large Co.op Mart and Hiway outlets already.

Vu Thi Hau, head of the Fivimart supermarket chain, said that existing retailers plan to gain a firmer foothold in the local market before foreign retailers encroach.

Chairman of the Hanoi supermarket Association Vu Vinh Phu said that the retail turnover of supermarkets in June decreased 10-12 percent over the same period in 2011. However, retailers and industry experts are still optimistic about the industry’s prospects.

Retailers said there is no concern as the local retail industry has surged 20-30 percent on average for the last 15 years. The proportion of the modern retail system, including supermarkets, accounts for only 20 percent of the country’s total retail industry, so there are still opportunities for the modern retail system to develop further.

Hoang Tho Xuan from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Research Institute said that Vietnam’s retail market still has a lot of potential as existing retailers are yet to meet the demands and taste of local consumers.

Chairman of the Vietnam Retailers Association Phan The Rue also said as the Government has taken measure to stabilise the macroeconomy and control inflation, it will be difficult to the local retail market to develop significantly, however, the difficulties are only temporary.

In the current context, only retailers, whose financial status, distribution and supply systems and corporate governance are good, have opportunities to develop.-VNA