Retailers must find competitive edge: experts

by 21 June 2016 Last updated at 16:00 PM

VTV.vn - Domestic retailers must improve competitive ability as the sole way to compete with foreign retailers for their survival in the future, according experts in the retail industry.

At an online dialogue on the Government website chinhphu.vn yesterday, on improving competitiveness of Việt Nam’s retail industry, Võ Văn Quyền, head of the domestic market department under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said Việt Nam has 8,660 markets, 800 supermarkets, 168 trading centres and 1 million household shops, while the modern retail channel has met 25 per cent of local consumer demand. The domestic retail industry is at the first stage, while the nation has a large population with an increasing income. Therefore, Việt Nam still has immense potential to develop the local retail market.

However, local retailers have seen growth of foreign retailers on the domestic market with international economic integration, and that was a big challenge for them in terms of survival and developing in the market, he said.

Nguyễn Thành Nhân, general director of Saigon Co-op, said that competitiveness would create dynamics for local retailers to improve their abilities. Foreign retailers entering the local market would force local rivals to improve their competitive ability and learn from foreign firms. The local retailers need to have specific competitive and development policies.

Đinh Thị Mỹ Loan, chairwoman of the Association of Việt Nam’s Retailers, said competitive ability was of larger interest to the association and its members, especially due to difficulties in economic development and lower purchasing power.

Local retailers have improved their competitive ability in the recent past and the association has also supported them in increasing competitive ability.

The association has joined hands to build policies, legal documents and legal framework for retail service industry, she said. Other important tasks of the association have included training for staff and managers in the retail industry and development of a combination between the association’s member firms and producers.

Loan encouraged local retailers to overcome challenges of shifting from traditional retail models to modern models and investing in a chain of shops and retail supermarkets to develop modern retail.

Local retailers should control imports to promote high-quality Vietnamese products at the local retail system creating favourable conditions for the development of the local economy.

Việt Nam’s retailers have co-operated to develop over the past 10 years but the co-operation has not been efficient, Loan said. Now, there should still be co-operation among local retailers and they must evolve suitable co-operation strategies while the state management offices should create a fair playground for local and foreign retailers to encourage development of local retailers.

Quyền said the Ministry of Trade and Industry has had the support of enterprises in production, building of brand and increasing competitive ability. However, the enterprises must develop and protect their brands.



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