Some years ago, analysts predicted that modern distribution channels would develop rapidly in Vietnam as income continued to rise.
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The prediction has been realized, but convenience stores, not large supermarkets, are the favored channel.
Nguyen Lan Chi on Pham Than Duat street in Cau Giay district in Hanoi said supermarkets and hypermarkets impress people with colourful opening ceremonies and good interior design, but the products displayed are nearly the same.
Chi said instead of spending time driving to large supermarkets and paying for products she does not need, it is better to go to convenience stores nearby. Convenience stores offer the most essential goods, so she avoids wasting money on unessential items.
Quynh Hoa, an office worker, said she buys food for daily meals at a convenience store in her residential quarter because she doesn’t have time to go to traditional markets, where she has to haggle about food, or to supermarkets, where it takes her 20 minutes to reach.
She also agrees that shopping at convenience stores is a good way to save money and time by buying only essential items.
Market analysts have found that consumers now prioritize convenience when choosing shops. They are no longer excited about the opening of new hypermarkets as they were in the past, but often prefer to shop at convenience stores near their houses.
More and more convenience stores have been set up recently everywhere, from large streets and roads to small alleys and in residential quarters, offering food, vegetables and essential industrial products.
A branding expert said that retailers made a wise move when setting up convenience store chains at hospitals, which have many potential customers. Hung Vuong Hospital in District 5, Trans-Asia Hospital and Thu Duc Hospital in HCM City, and National Hospital of Paediatrics in Hanoi all have convenience stores.
The expert said small convenience stores can be compared to ants, which are small but understand how to scramble for customers who might go to large supermarkets.
Nikkei, in an article published recently, commented that mini convenience stores in Vietnam such as Vinmart+ have been thriving and increasing in number.
Vinmart+ is one of the fastest-growing chains in Vietnam. It, together with Vinmart, is a retail brand of Vingroup owned by Pham Nhat Vuong, the richest Vietnamese stock billionaire and the dollar billionaire recognized by Forbes.