Thailand’s Central Retail Group is to invest US$1.45 billion in Vietnam within the next five years, marking its largest investment yet into the country.
The funds will be used to fuel its expansion in the market. The group said it seeks to reach a sales target of $4.33 billion by 2027 and nearly double the number of its stores there to 600. After operating in the market for 11 years, the retail conglomerate has more than 340 stores with a retail space of more than 1.2 million sqm.
This year alone, Central Retail plans to invest $173.1 million into the market, where it operates Go hypermarkets, Tops supermarkets, the Nguyen Kim electronics store chain, LookKool gadgets stores, Supersports and Robins department stores.
“Vietnam’s economy continues to grow despite uncertainties,” said Olivier Langlet, CEO of Central Retail Vietnam. “We expect Vietnam’s GDP growth this year at 6.7 per cent, making Vietnam Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing market.”
Last year, the Vietnam unit’s sales accounted for 25 per cent of Central Retail’s group-wide sales, making it the largest international retailer in the country. The company’s sales jumped from $8.6 million in 2014 to $1.1 billion in 2021.
Japanese rival, Aeon, is also plotting expansion in Vietnam with the ambition to open 100 supermarkets by 2025, around 10 times the number of stores it had there as of last October. It also plans 16 malls across the country.
Last year, Central Retail reformed the branding of its food business for the first time in its 26 years of history, unifying all its retail models – Tops Markets, Tops Superstore, Tops Daily and Top Online – under the brand ‘Tops’. Central Food Halls in shopping malls was rebranded as Tops Food Hall.