Japanese retail group Aeon plans to triple the number of shopping locations in Vietnam by 2025, as part of its Southeast Asia expansion plan.
Nikkei Asia reports the purpose of the expansion is to make a profit in the food market, which the company claims will attract a rapidly rising middle-class consumer and ease limitations on foreign operators during the next two years.
Aeon is also integrating kitchens to produce bread and ready-to-eat foods in large shopping centres, aiming to build a supply network for small supermarkets in the ecosystem.
Aeon said in May that until 2025, it would invest in three to four projects in Hanoi and build 100 supermarkets in the region by 2025, an increase of around 10 times the current number. It also plans around 16 malls across the country.
Aside from Japan and Malaysia, Aeon says Vietnam is one of its most important markets; last year, the company announced the opening of its US$190 million shopping centre in Bac Ninh province.
Aeon launched in Vietnam in 2009 with a representative office and opened its first shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014. It now has six centres throughout the country.
Central Retail, one of Thailand’s largest retailers, announced earlier this month it plans to increase the number of its outlets in Vietnam from 340 to 710 by 2026 to capitalise on a growing market. The retailer says it intends to invest $3.03 billion in expansion during the next five years, aiming to boost revenue by 2.5 times.
According to Statista, Co.opmart is the most popular grocery chain in Vietnam, with 128 outlets, followed by WinMart, which has 123. This year, the nation’s food market is expected to generate $88.5 billion in revenue, with annual growth projected at 8.37 per cent annually until 2027.