World Bank investment arm International Financial Corporation (IFC), is considering investing approximately US$20 million in a subsidiary of Son Kim Retail, the operator of GS25 Vietnam, according to local news.
The investment, if happens, will be used to fuel the expansion of the GS25 c-store chain in Vietnam in the next three years. The investment research process was reported to happen earlier this year, including inspecting licenses, and operating procedures and interviewing senior managers of Son Kim Retail.
Further details of the investment have yet to be disclosed.
The South Korean convenience-store chain entered Vietnam in 2017 through a joint venture with Son Kim Retail, with GS Retail holding 30 per cent stake and Son Kim the remainder. As of September, GS25 Vietnam had about 130 stores, mainly located in Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring provinces, and aims to increase its store count to 260 by the end of this year.
In recent years, the nation’s convenience store market has seen rapid escalation – and sophistication – in the larger cities. Figures from Euromonitor show that the number of convenience stores in Vietnam increased from just 565 in 2014 to 1289 by 2019 when revenues reached US$103 billion. The key players at the time were FamilyMart, Circle K, and B’s Mart, with market shares of 21.4 per cent, 20.7 per cent, and 9.6 per cent, respectively.