Aeon plans bigger presence in Vietnam
HCMC – Positive feedback from local shoppers is an encouragement for Aeon Company Limited to quicken the pace of shopping mall development to meet the demand in Vietnam which the Japanese retailer sees as one of the potential markets in Asia.
Speaking at a news briefing last Saturday, Yasuo Nishitohge, general director of Aeon Vietnam, said the first ten days of soft opening saw around 30,000 people on weekdays and 70,000 on weekends thronging Aeon Mall Tan Phu Celadon in the outlying district of Tan Phu in HCMC, one of its first properties in Vietnam.
The number of shoppers is expected to increase further in the coming time as the retail giant on Saturday cut the ribbon to fully put into operation the US$100 million shopping mall after some 18 months of construction.
Located in the 82-hectare residential complex Celadon City, Aeon Mall Tan Phu Celadon has about 50,000 square meters for retail, with half for the commercial area and the remainder for lease with some 250 stands. The three-story building is seen as a one-stop shopping mall with five major sections that can cater to all the needs of buyers as it stocks some 12,000 daily-essential items.
After the grand opening of Aeon Mall Tan Phu Celadon, the company will continue its business expansion plan with two other projects in the pipeline. They are Aeon Binh Duong Canary in the southern province of Binh Duong, scheduled for opening in October 2014, and Aeon Mall Long Bien in the capital city of Hanoi expected for completion in 2015.
- - on Bo Bao Tan Thang St in Tan Phu District with some 50,000 square meters for retail and some 250 stands for lease
- - a parking lot for around 4,000 motorbikes and 500 cars five big sections selling international fashion brands, daily necessities, beauty care products and entertainment services
- - 12,000 items for daily needs, including Japanese goods and specialties
- - some 600 items imported from other countries
- - open from 10 am to 10 pm and serve all year round, including the coming Tet holiday
- - deferred payment service to be available soon
- - free shuttle service
Nishitohge said Aeon will initially focus its business expansion on the two main cities, Hanoi and HCMC, and by 2020 its shopping malls across the country will rise to 20.
Motoya Okada, group chief executive officer, president of Aeon Company Limited, said there will be challenges ahead but the company will try to achieve its business target in Vietnam.
“Each retailer has its own strategy and anywhere we come we closely work with local partners, finding qualified ones, with whom we expand our business strategy,” Okada said, adding that besides building properties, training local people is one of the ways for Aeon to gain success in global markets.
In fact, Aeon began its Vietnam presence in 2008, when Aeon Credit Service Co. started business in the country by offering services and goods on deferred-payment terms. Three years later, Ministop Company, an arm of Aeon, launched its first store in Vietnam under the form of franchise, and now it has increased the number of stores to 17.
Talking about the development plan in the Asian region, Nagahisa Oyama, vice president, chief executive officer of ASEAN Business for Aeon Company Limited, said Asia is a key market for Aeon in its global retail market development. Aeon has a system of 250 subsidiaries with total annual sales turnover of 6,000 billion yen (around US$60.5 billion), earning total profit of some 200 billion yen (some US$2 billion).
Oyama said the company came to explore business opportunities in Malaysia in 1984, and realized the potential in developing markets. Now, Aeon is present at 14 countries and territories, including Vietnam.
In its mid-term plan from 2011-2013, Aeon set a business strategy named “Asia shift” to forward its business development to the ASEAN region. “Opening Aeon Mall Tan Phu Celadon has a great significance in business development strategy for us,” Oyama said, adding Vietnam is the third country after Malaysia and China Aeon has entered with big shopping malls.
Asked whether Aeon was planning to bring Vietnamese products to its retail stores outside the country, Oyama said some Vietnamese products worth some US$60 million have been put on the shelves of stores in Japan, and the company is mulling a plan to export local products to regional countries in the coming time.