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Aeon to wholesale in Vietnam

Japanese retailer and mall operator Aeon has entered into wholesaling partnerships with two Vietnamese domestic retail networks.

The company, which operates just one shopping centre and hypermarket in Vietnam – in the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City – but has others under construction will use the new distribution agreements to boost brand recognition of its Topvalu private label lines.

Aeon has partnered with Fivimart and Citimart, which operate about 40 small scale supermarkets and convenience stores targeting expats and locals alike.

FMCG industry research house IDG says the pact will offer “a shortcut to scale” for Aeon.

Topvalu is already gaining recognition in nearby Thailand where Aeon is opening hypermarkets and smaller hybrid convenience store supermarket format and in Malaysia.

IDG says the retailer sells a high proportion of private label and Japanese imported products in its stores, a factor that helps it differentiate from its competitors.

Should this relationship bloom further, it could be a fruitful one for Aeon. Both are well established players in the market – Fivimart holds a strong position in Hanoi, whilst Citimart is a dominant player in Ho Chi Minh City – and possess a wealth of local knowledge and experience.

“Citimart’s five year agreement with Hong Kong based Dairy Farm fizzled in 2012, whilst Fivimart is similarly unattached, which may provide potential for closer collaboration in the future,” wrote IDG.

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