Vietnam’s 2020 retail sales see lowest growth in nine years hinh anh 1Fruits being showcased at a VinMart supermarket in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam’s total revenue from retail trade and services reached over 5 quadrillion VND (219.5 billion USD) in 2020, representing a modest yearly rise of 2.6 percent, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

This year’s retail sales growth was much lower than 9.5 percent seen in 2019 and was also the lowest rate in the 2011-2020 period due to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue from retail sales of consumer goods exceeded 3.9 quadrillion VND, up 7 percent year-on-year or accounting for 79 percent of the total. Especially, revenue increased by 10.7 percent for food and foodstuff; 7.5 percent for the group of household appliances, tools and equipment; 3 percent for garments and 1 percent for cultural and educational services.

Meanwhile, revenue from accommodation and catering services dropped by 13 percent year-on-year to 510.4 trillion VND, making up 10 percent of the total. Last year, the revenue from these services saw a yearly increase of 9.8 percent.

Other services also experienced a slight revenue decline of 4 percent to 535 trillion VND in 2020.

However, VNDirect Securities forecast that the nation's retail sales growth would bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels next year, reaching 8.5-9 percent year-on-year.

The projection was made on the back of the country’s successful containment of COVID-19, which was a major contributor to the economic rebound in the third quarter that saw unemployment fall 0.23 percent against the previous quarter to 2.5 percent. 

VNDirect also predicted that consumer confidence would likely recover soon, against a backdrop of COVID-19 vaccines expected to be available in 2021.

With the rapid growth of the middle class and rising per capita income, domestic consumption remained the main growth driver of the retail industry, even during COVID-19.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade expected the domestic trade sector’s added value to contribute 13.5 percent to GDP by 2025 and total retail sales of goods and services to grow around 9-9.5 percent annually over the next five years.

The ministry forecast that total retail sales would reach nearly 350 billion USD by 2025.

The market’s recovery offers huge opportunities for retailers to expand their distribution networks.

Saigon Co.op is targeting to add at least 2,000 stores to its chain over the next five years, with revenue rising 8-10 percent annually. 

Major Japanese retailer Muji, which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods, has opened its first store in Vietnam, in HCM City, and is planning to open another in Hanoi, it added./.