Many M&A deals in the retail market were made in 2019, but unlike previous years, Vietnamese groups ‘conducted the choir’.
Three years ago, Central Group, the Thai largest retail group, spent more than $1 billion to obtain Big C Vietnam. Prior to that, BJC, another group from Thailand, took over Metro Cash & Carry to join the Vietnamese retail market.
The huge takeover deals made analysts think that the domestic retail market would fall into foreign hands one day, but that hasn't happened.
In late 2018, VinCommerce, a Vietnamese retailer running VinMart supermarket and VinMart+ convenience store, wrapped up the deal of taking over Fivimart, a chain of 23 supermarkets.
|Three years ago, Central Group, the Thai largest retail group, spent more than $1 billion to obtain Big C Vietnam. Prior to that, BJC, another group from Thailand, took over Metro Cash & Carry to join the Vietnamese retail market.|
It was also VinCommerce which in April 2019 took over 87 Shop&Go convenience stores. And just half a year later, eight supermarkets belonging to Queenland Mart turned into VinMart supermarkets.
In early December, Vingroup unexpectedly announced the merger of VinCommerce and VinEco, two of its subsidiaries, with Masan Consumer Holdings.
Vingroup and Masan said that the move aims to optimize the advantages of every party, and helps create a leading consumer goods and retail group with outstanding strength in Vietnam. Besides the production division, the new company owns a network of 122 VinMart supermarkets and 2,600 VinMart+ stores in 50 provinces/cities.
In mid-December, Vingroup released another important announcement that it had dissolved Vinpro, a home appliance distribution chain, and closed Adayroi.com, an e-commerce website.
After one year of leading the ‘retail game’, Vingroup decided to leave the market.
Saigon Co-op, another big Vietnamese retailer, also has had many big M&A deals recently. Five months ago, it took over Auchan chain after the French owner left Vietnam. With the deal and the great efforts to expand the network, Saigon Co-op aims to have 1,000 sale points by the end of 2019.
2019 was an eventful year for retailers. In mid-2019, the joint venture between Son Kim Group which holds 70 percent of capital, and GS Retail, the retailer from South Korea, acquired 49 stores belonging to Zakka Mart. Other Vietnamese retailers including Bach Hoa Xanh, Satrafoods and the chains belonging to BRG also opened hundreds of new stores.
Dinh Thi My Loan, chair of the Vietnam Retailer Association, commented that localization and personalization have been done well by Vietnamese retailers. They have a big advantage over foreign rivals – good understanding of Vietnamese customers’ needs and tastes.
A report from MB Securities showed that urban areas are the locations for supermarkets, modern retail chains and e-commerce. As for supermarkets, the report said foreign enterprises account for 17 percent, while Vietnamese hold 83 percent.
Vietnam, with its young demographic, growing incomes and large population, is considered a hugely promising market for retailers.
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