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New opportunities for retail industryExpanded retail networks and increased service quality will offer the retail sector a wealth of opportunities for development.

The General Statistics Office (GSO) reports total retail sales in 2013 are expected to exceed VND2,617 trillion, 12.59% higher than 2012.The US Business Consultancy Services RNCOS measured Vietnamese retail’s modernity at below 30%, much lower than regional ratings including 48% in the Philippines, 55% in Indonesia, 66% in Malaysia, 76% in Australia, 99% in Hong Kong, and 100% in Singapore.

Vietnam’s modest result both a limitation and a future opportunity for boosting the retail industry and economic development more broadly.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) predicts Vietnam will have 1,200–1,300 supermarkets and 337 trade and shopping centres by 2020, 550 more than currently.

Vietnam Retailers Association Chairwoman Dr Dinh Thi My Loan has underlined the need to embrace modern retail and e-commerce, noting Vietnam’s entry into the digital era opens a valuable avenue for proactive retailers to raise their individual contributions to national retail sale totals.

Vietnam E-Commerce Association Vice Chairman Nguyen Thanh Hung says Vietnamese e-commerce is developing steadily, with annual sales estimated at US$700 million based on online customer yearly spending averages of US$30.

A Mastercard representative believes that Vietnamese e-commerce sales could reach US$7–8 billion by 2017.

German market research company GFK says Vietnamese consumers are intelligent, discerning purchasers.

The number of Vietnamese consumers investing in prestigious healthcare products and services is on the rise, tightening connections between retailers and buyers.

To protect consumer rights, the MoIT has stipulated all supermarket and trade centre businesses must honour existing production and distribution contracts from now until 2020.

From 2015, approximately 40–50% of farm produce and fresh seafood, and 70–80% of handicraft products, will need to meet regulated quality standards.

The MoIT forecasts that modern retail and distribution will grow an annual 26–27% from 2015, rising to 29–30% by 2020.

(VOV)

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