Aeon buys stake in Vietnam supermarkets

Japan’s Aeon has taken strategic shareholding in two Vietnamese supermarket chains, extending a strategic alliance established last year.

The company has bought a 49 per cent stake in Citimart which has 27 supermarkets, mostly in Ho Chi Minh City. And it has taken 30 per cent of Fivimart, another chain with 20 stores in Hanoi, the capital.

Aeon formed strategic alliances with both chains last year, supplying its house branded products to all the stores, which added the Aeon logo to its signage and shopping bags. At the time Aeon stressed there was no capital tie-up with either business.

Aeon used the alliance to build brand awareness and volume of house brand products in a market where it has opened two shopping centres, anchored by sophisticated western style hypermarkets. A third will open in Hanoi before the end of the year.

Confirming its investment plans this week, Aeon said the deal would allow it to increase its working knowledge of Vietnam’s FMCG retail market and of procuring stock locally. Citimart and Fivimart will benefit from Aeon’s expertise in supply chain logistics, quality control and modern retailing disciplines.

Aeon considers Vietnam its second most important Southeast Asia market behind Malaysia. It plans to eventually build a network of 200 stores in the nation.


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