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This in-depth guide to Vietnam explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

We review Alfamart's current performance, its growth forecasts for the next five years, plus progress against key strategic objectives.

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Vietnam's leading retailer, Saigon Co.op, announces plans to add more stores and develop a new premium format.

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Cheers has opened its third store on Dinh Tien Hoang Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Cheers in Vietnam

Operated by a joint venture between Vietnamese retailer Saigon Co.op and Singapore’s NTUC FairPrice, Cheers stores are open 24 hours, sspecialise in imported food and grocery. The stores also provide utilities payment services and offer dine-in areas with free wifi.

The first Cheers store opened on Hoa Hao Street, in District 10, last December. The partnership plans to have 50 stores trading in Vietnam by the end of 2018. The two retailers also partnered up on Co.OpXtra hypermarkets.

Recent development of NTUC FairPrice

Besides the expansion in Vietnam, NTUC FairPrice has upgraded its ecommerce platform, supported by automated fulfillment system and collaboration with ride-hailing app Grab for delivery. It has also launched its technology driven 'Living Lab' in Singapore.

Vietnam's largest retailer, Saigon Co.Op, reports 11% sales growth in 2016 and aims for 13% this year.

Network expansion plans to retain leadership

The retailer plans eight to ten Co.OpMart supermarket, one Co.OpXtra hypermarket, one Sense City mall, 65 Co.Op Food shops, and 500 Co.OpSmile convenience stores to support this growth. The co-operative will be optimising its existing operations, improving quality of goods, services and management. There is also a plan to target high-end consumers and enhance distribution of organic products.

Exports of Vietnamese goods abroad through Co.OpXtra

Despite the competitive environment last year, the retailer gained 11% on revenue year-on-year. Part of this was contributed by increased exports through Co.OpXtra hypermarkets, a joint-venture with leading retailer NTUC FairPrice in Singapore.

Read more about Co.OpSmile stores launch here.

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Vietnam’s largest retailer Saigon Co.Op has launched Co.Op Smile, a new convenience store format.

Aggressive store expansion plans in place

Co.Op Smile is a small retail store between 20sq.m. to 200sq.m. in urban and suburban residential areas. It will stock between 1,500 to 2,000 items including food, cosmetics and clothes. With 20 stores opening in its first month, the retailer plans to open 200-300 stores by the end of 2017.

Race to establish c-stores amongst retailers

With 7-Eleven’s first store expected in spring 2017, retailers in Vietnam have been opening c-stores at a phenomenal speed. Vinmart+  is the leading c-store chain with more than 1,000 stores after just three years. Foreign retailers like FamilyMart (Japan), B’mart (Thailand) and Circle K (US) have also added 30-40 stores each in the last year. This rapid growth is fueled by the increased spending power of young Vietnamese, in a market still dominated by traditional trade.

About Saigon Co.Op

Saigon Co.Op has a wide retail network across the country. It owns Co.Op Mart supermarkets, Co.Op Xtra hypermarkets, Co.Op Food stores, Ben Thanh Store, Sense city commercial center, SC Vivo city complex and a TV shopping channel. Co.Op Xtra is a Joint-Venture with Singapore's largest retailer NTUC FairPrice.

Bach Hoa Xanh targets 350 stores in Vietnam

Vietnam’s grocery store chain Bach Hoa Xanh (Grocery Green) has announced its expansion plan by opening 300 new stores in 2017.

Rolling out mini supermarket format

Bach Hoa Xanh is owned by Vietnam’s leading electronics retailer Mobile World and current has 50 stores in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mobile World will invest heavily to bring the total number of Bach Hoa Xanh stores to 350, with an additional distribution centre. In addition, Bach Hoa Xanh will improve the administration system to provide better efficiency for purchasing and store operation.

Bach Hoa Xanh is a mini supermarket format and the stores are usually located in residential areas, selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and FMCG products. Bach Hoa Xanh stores have on average sales of VND1bn (US$44,300), serving 20,000 customers each month.

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