NYDC Vietnam closes last store

The last NYDC Vietnam dessert and cafe restaurant has closed its doors after months of struggling to stay viable.

The chain sent its goodbyes to its customers via its Facebook page last Wednesday, promising to “return someday”.

NYDC’s struggles first became apparent in May when it closed three stores in a row – Nguyen Trai, Cantavil, and Crescent stores in Ho Chi Minh City. It continued to operate its highest-profile store inside the Metropolitan Tower in the city’s CBD. However, after six months trying, finally they decided to close their last store.

Two factors likely led to the demise of NYDC Vietnam: First, the increasing dominance of  local cafe chains such as The Coffee House, Phuc Long, Urban Station, Trung Nguyen, Kafe and Highlands, which offer affordable prices and comfortable spaces. The second is the more recent arrival of international chains, such as Starbucks. Before Starbucks arrived in Vietnam in 2012, NYDC’s main competitors were Gloria’s Jeans and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Many foreign food chains have struggled to gain momentum in Vietnam market. Both Gloria’s Jeans and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had to close larger outlets about three years ago due to rising rentals. Burger King launched in 2012 with ambitious plans for about 60 stores within five years. It has recently closed several and as of February its network stood at just 16.

Sean T Ngo, CEO of VF Franchise Consulting, said that even though Vietnam is one of the hottest franchising markets in Southeast Asia, the exit of NYDC from Vietnam clearly demonstrates the challenges that many foreign firms face when entering a developing market like Vietnam.

“Clear differentiation and positioning from competitors and near perfect execution is required if any foreign brand is to do well in this market place.”

Brought to Vietnam in 2009 by Singapore’s SUTL Group, NYDC used to be one of the most popular foreign cafe chains in HCMC. The first two outlets were opened in the center of the city, at Metropolitan tower and Now Zone shopping mall, followed by Vincom, Nguyen Trai, Cantavil, and Crescent mall stores. The original plan was to open 20 outlets in five years with more than US$300,000 investment reportedly required for each.

Opposite to NYDC, SUTL has been successful with its investment in KFC, which now operates more than 140 stores across Vietnam.


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