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As Myanmar’s new government accelerates its efforts to open up the country's economy, it is attracting international brands and retailers. An expanding economy, rising incomes and the new middle class are fueling the growth of modern retail in the country.
Aeon, the first foreign entity to operate retail stores in the country, entered the market by setting up a joint venture with one of the top three retail chains Orange, an operator of 14 supermarkets. The Japanese retailer plans to open 10 new outlets within five years.
The first Aeon Orange store has a sales area of 613 sqm, selling about 8,000 products. About 70% of the products are imported, with the remaining 30%, mainly fresh foods, coming from Myanmar. Of the imported products, around 80 items are imported from Japan, including Aeon's very own Topvalu private label to provide high quality Japanese products at affordable prices.
City Mart is the biggest retail operator in Myanmar with more than 180 outlets. Its multiple formats of retail businesses include City Mart supermarkets, Ocean hypercenters, City Express convenience stores, bookstores, health & beauty stores, baby and maternity specialty stores as well as a café and bakery.
As the retailer celebrates its 20th anniversary, the CEO Daw Win Win Tint said the company would focus efforts on offering quality products and services to Myanmar consumers at the best value for money.
Significant expansion of store network is expected, especially in convenience. The goal is to have 200 City Express locations by 2018, from the current number of about 40.
Grab & Go (G & G) is the convenience retail arm of Capital Diamond Star Group, one of the country’s largest business groups with businesses from agriculture to real estate. In retail sector, it also operates hypermarket and supermarkets under Capital banner and pharmacies under Wellington, besides the 100 G & G stores.
The convenience stores operate 24 hours and welcome Pokeman players to hang out at their stores at night. On its Facebook page, it posted the store directory for Pokeman players looking for action and gatherings. 20 lucky players will also receive free coffee from 9-11 pm.
With more than 50 million consumers and enormous growth potential, Myanmar is not a market to be ignored.
Based in Singapore, Shirley heads up IGD's research and coverage on Southeast Asia. Contact Shirley at [email protected] for further insight on the region.