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MM Mega Market: Vietnam's retail market still holds major potential

Released at: 14:36, 09/07/2019

MM Mega Market: Vietnam's retail market still holds major potential

Photo: MM Mega Market

Mr. Phidsanu Pongwatana, Managing Director of MM Mega Market Vietnam, tells VET about the company's expansion plans in the competitive local retail market.

by Hong Nhung

How do you view Vietnam’s retail market at this moment in time, in particular the development of supermarket/hypermarket chains?

In my view, Vietnam’s retail market has substantial potential to grow. According to the World Ultra Wealth Report, Vietnam is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of its rising number of rich people, just behind China and Bangladesh. The rising incomes of local consumers are also driving gross household spending upwards over time. Moreover, the rapid and ongoing urbanization process in the country will help expand consumer markets further. I think these are ideal preconditions for retail markets to prosper.

Convenience stores and mini-marts remain one of the fastest growing segments in Vietnam’s retail industry, according to retail trends in 2019. Due to the growing middle-class and high care and demand for food quality and services, I think the health and wellness retail industry can also be considered a beneficial investment.

Lastly, we expect the local retail market to be more competitive and consumers to be more demanding.

The local retail industry is seeing increasingly tough competition and some major foreign retailers have been pulling out of the country. What challenges have you seen in the local market?

The tough competitive market proves that some businesses with the right development strategies will keep growing strongly and others will have to leave the market.

With a large population of over 94 million, shopping demand in Vietnam is huge. In the first quarter of 2019, the retail market continued its strong growth, with retail sales of goods increasing in the double digits over the same period last year.

Vietnamese consumers’ needs and habits are quickly changing and becoming more demanding. At MM, we always try to stay up to date regarding customers’ shopping trends. We have ceaselessly improved the quality of our products and services to best meet their expectations.

Vietnamese consumers now tend to prefer “one-stop shopping” than going to department stores, as previously. What do you think about this change?

Today, Vietnamese consumers care not only about food quality and safety but also the convenience of shopping. They prefer the “one-stop shopping” model because it saves time.

Understanding this change, MM has worked hard to improve its image and store setup, developing new products and reinforcing food safety control through the development of safe food supply chains. MM Mega Market follows the new concept of a modern warehouse outlet. The market consists of various wholesale and retail products. Its modern design not only provides convenience to customers but also gives them a sense of fun-filled excitement while browsing through a varied range of goods and services.

Our goal is to develop MM Mega Market as a preferred shopping destination with dedicated staff and excellent services for our customers in Vietnam.

What are MM Mega Market’s targets for expansion in Vietnam by the end of 2020?

We will continuously focus on our strategy of expanding MM malls and growing our food platforms further around the country. We are currently running four platforms: the Da Lat-based fruit and vegetable platform, the Can Tho-based fish platform, the Dong Nai-based pork platform, and the fruit platform in Ben Tre. This helps us to have complete control of the entire process, from farm to table.

Importantly, we have planned to break ground at or open new MM shops, with most being in the two major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and our expansion plans will continue in 2020.

Not only focusing on serving domestic customers, MM also exports Vietnamese agricultural products to Thailand and other markets in the region. We began exporting Vietnamese agri-products to the Big C system in Thailand in 2018 and have received positive feedback from the market, MM Mega Market Vietnam plans to double output in 2019, to about 200 tons a month. This year and in the years to come, MM Mega Market will continue to introduce new and high-value product lines, including frozen catfish, cuttlefish, milk fruit, and especially pomelo, to Thailand and other markets.

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