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VIETNAMVIEW
Modern western grocery and convenience stores have yet to penetrate successfully
in Vietnam. Traditional wet markets such as the one pictured above provide a level of
convenience and freshness that continue to satify local shoppers.
remains the two biggest cities. Highlands sophisticated way of doing business. Few to assist them in this task. “Above 25
Coffee has an expanding retail base in the suppliers and distributors in Vietnam have sales people it becomes very difficult to
country and a growing package goods dis- information available at the retail level. Phi manage employees and companies lose
tribution arm to retailers. “Ho Chi Minh City mentions that local companies are still control of their sales people”, said France.
and Hanoi continue to grow and the two far behind when it comes to information “Many companies only cover about 60%
cities hold significant growth potential for technology. “Many companies don’t see of their retail base.” Even with the current
companies”, France notes. He mentions the benefits of information technology and economic climate, the Vietnam retail mar-
that the same level of development is just some companies are still standing in the ket will remain an exciting prospect for
not visible outside of the two major cities dark.” Dutz alludes to the fact that with rel- many investors. Retail space will continue
and that some cities are stagnant because atively cheap labour, many companies are to be challenge in the near future and it will
of the ongoing global crisis. Trung Thu Lu- reluctant to invest in information technol- take some time for consumers to change
ong brings another perspective, noting ogy. “For some businesses it is difficult to their behavior. Some might argue that the
that package goods companies with the make the case for technology.” However speed of change has been slower than
right product category and price points he notes that information management is projected. However, retail change does
are increasingly looking outside of the two critical for success. not happen overnight. “It will take time for
major cities. “To sustain growth we have “Without the information required, some people to migrate from traditional trade,
to go outside of the big cities.” However, companies just push things in the shop time to learn, like it and make it a habit”,
for most companies, the major urban ar- and then see what happens”, said Dutz. said Phi.
eas will remain the playground. Owen notes that the retail market is start-
ing to demand more and some high end re-
Based in Vietnam, Tiel-
Information is key tailers are putting pressure on companies
man Nieuwoudt runs the
Supply Chain Lab, a con-
A growing retail sector will increasingly to improve technology. France notes that
sultancy which focuses on
rely on information technology to make if distribution companies want to succeed
improving supply chains
decisions. Companies also need a more at the retail level, they require technology in emerging markets.
www.chainaonline.com JULY/AUGUST 2009 41
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