With the development of the economy, culture, and technology, Vietnam has gradually changed with a variety of different business models. Vietnam used to be a country that was popular with small and retail businesses, along with traditional family grocery stores. But nowadays, consumers in Viet Nam have had a great shift towards other business models such as large supermarkets and convenience stores.
In Vietnam, old grocery stores, markets, and roadside stalls are among the traditional features that create the trading culture in the country. Traditional grocery stores often take advantage of home space for business. They have a small scale and low operating costs. Therefore, manufacturers and distributors often cooperate and provide the source of goods for traditional grocery stores at more reasonable prices. In addition to popular items, grocery stores also have highly localized items. Shop owners and customers are neighbors so going to the grocery store is also an opportunity for them to chat and ask each other.
Each store usually specializes in one type of item such as grocery stores, household goods, fruit stores, beverage stalls, local specialties, etc. These stores can appear anywhere from any corner to the roadside, in the market…
This type of store is still popular today and is favored by indigenous people. However, prices are usually not listed and decided by the seller.
Currently, large shopping centers are becoming familiar in entertainment life, and consumers’ shopping needs have also become more demanding. All needs from basic to advanced are met with a wide range of entertainment, culinary, and services. Vietnam has 3 prominent names in developing and constructing shopping centers: BigC (which has been rebranded and renamed into GO!) owned by Central Retail group, Vincom Center system chain, Vincom Mega Mall which belongs to VinGroup and AEON Mall which belongs to AEON Group of Japan. Compared with other business models, shopping centers often have large areas, and the number of goods in the center is diverse and carefully selected. BigC (GO!) is a place with a mid-range price, suitable for the needs of many customers. Vincom Center, Vincom Mega Mall, and AEON Mall are luxury commercial centers with many forms of shopping, products, and services from fashion, to cosmetics… so the items will have higher prices than other shopping centers.
These brand buildings are often quite prominent and conspicuous. In particular, Vincom’s buildings are often located at huge intersections.
The domestic retail business model in Vietnam is gaining more and more advantages and is being chosen by many consumers. Vinmart is a well-known retail brand, owned by Vingroup, which has now been transferred to Masan Group and renamed WinMart. This is currently the only domestic system that is capable of opening branches in other provinces of Vietnam. Recently AEON has launched its brand minimarts. There is also an abundance of mini-marts or supermarkets mainly owned by spontaneous retailers. The domestic retail business model is quite popular. They are usually located in densely populated areas which are convenient for customers to shop. They have a full range of all essential items with reasonable prices depending on needs and purposes. Customers can completely pay for their orders with many different methods.
Convenience store chains in Vietnam have quickly developed and dominated the market. International retail brands such as Circle K, 7eleven, B’s Mart, Kmart, and FamilyMart have been established for a long time. With their growing brand reputation, they have gained the trust of customers and expanded the operation scale, mainly in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi area. Customers can buy fast food and use it on the spot, which is an upgraded version of the grocery store business model but has the advantages of a scientific layout, saving time, space, and better service quality.
Vending machine systems in Vietnam usually appear in big cities. It is mainly for the sale of beverages and is not widely used.
Buying and selling on e-commerce platforms are especially stimulating because there are often many sale programs on 1/1, 2/2, 3/3… day 15, or 25 of the month. Currently, brands are promoting online shopping and home delivery. Popular e-commerce apps are Shopee, Lazada, and Tiki. A few shops on Taobao and Amazon. Along with that is payment by e-wallet Zalo pay, Shopee pay, VN pay, Momo…
As we can see, the current retail markets in Vietnam are quite competitive. In rural or suburban areas, consumers still prefer the grocery model because it is quite simple, familiar, and indigenous can bargain for the price. However, in urban areas with a density of population such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang, a large number of customers have gradually changed their shopping habits, from traditional business stores to minimarts, convenience stores, and shopping centers because of the facilities, the variety of products as well as the preferential programs for customers.