Markets losing lead over convenience stores

Friday, May 29, 2015 08:00

Customers buy safe food at Metro Binh Phu in HCM City. Vietnamese shoppers have moved to convenience stores rather than traditional markets in recent years. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS) — Wet markets and traditional stores remain the preferred retail channels for Vietnamese shoppers, though they are under threat as consumers shift away, according to a Nielsen report released on Wednesday.

The two have seen a decline in sales of 5 per cent and 17 per cent respectively since 2012.

The frequency of visits also decreased.

While consumers have become more "savvy" in their shopping behaviour in recent years, the need for convenience continues to grow.

In Viet Nam, store expansion also continues to gain momentum, especially in urban areas.

Convenience stores more than doubled from 147 in 2012 to 348 last year, while mini marts increased from 863 to 1452.

This new demand is being led by time-poor and predominantly young shoppers in making everyday food and grocery purchases, and has been a key driver in convenience store expansion.

Some 22 per cent of consumers shop for food and grocery more often at convenience stores compared to 12 months ago.

Food and beverages are driving convenience store sales, with 86 per cent of consumers buying either and 62 per cent of beverage buyers also buying food and 51 per cent of food buyers also buying beverages.

Vaughan Ryan, managing director of Nielsen Viet Nam, said: "Convenience is not a store front, but rather a way of life. Consumers are increasingly demanding products and solutions that help them in their increasingly busy life.

"As a result we will see the emergence in Viet Nam of both the convenience channel and e-commerce to meet this consumer demand."

To address these shifts, retailers must deepen their understanding of this evolving shopper behaviour, foresee changing needs and develop strategies that are focused on differentiation in areas that matter most to shoppers, he added.—VNS

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