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Central Group plans new formats in Vietnam

Thai retail conglomerate Central Group is planning to triple its Vietnamese businesses in the next five years.

With the planned investment of US$500 million, the retailer is expanding its stores and shopping malls in the country to as many as 750, along with new retail formats.

“We are very strong in Vietnam in food business which is the primary need of consumers, but we are also preparing for the future, for the needs consumers are going to have [beyond] food,” Central Group Vietnam CEO Philippe Broianigo told media in Bangkok this week.

Central has already tested the market with its cosmetics retail concept Hello Beauty, DIY store Home Mart, and LookKool gift shop which has already expanded to 26 stores.

New shops will open within its Big C-anchored malls to draw in grocery shoppers, and will soon expand to other venues, according to Broianigo.

Established in July 2011, Central Group Vietnam has built its portfolio via acquisitions of electronics retailer Nguyen Kim, supermarket chain Big C and fashion e-commerce platform Zalora which was converted into Robins online.

Last year, sales grew by double digits, reaching $1.3 billion.

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