Japanese businesses conquer Vietnamese consumers

5 min read

Introducing some popular items with consumers in urban Vietnam such as ice cream, rice sprinkle spices, natto beans, apple cider vinegar, relaxation eye patch … that are popular with the market, sales According to Mr. Hirai Shinji, Chief Representative of Japan Trade Promotion Organization (Jetro) in Ho Chi Minh City, these products are not essential goods but still sell well in Covid- 19, shows that the Vietnamese market consumes Japanese goods more and more potential.

From “the factory” to the preferred market

Citing a recent survey of enterprises (DN) in Japan about business development abroad with more than 40% of respondents choosing to go to Vietnam; Vietnam surpassed many countries, becoming the second favorite destination (after China) of Japanese enterprises, Mr. Hirai Shinji admitted that the Jetro office in Ho Chi Minh City often received many questions from Japanese enterprises about bringing goods in. Vietnam.

Even in “Japan Vietnam Festival” taking place on April 17 and 18, Jetro’s booth in addition to the participation of retailers from the country of cherry blossoms such as FamilyMart, Hachi Hachi, Kamereo, Akuruhi, Logitem still gender 80 lines of food products, cosmetics, consumer goods, apparel … of 50 Japanese companies, of which 50% of products are brought to the “pitch” for the first time.

Matsumoto Kiyoshi shop at Vincom Dong Khoi (HCMC) always attracts young customers

According to japanese enterprises, Vietnam from the place of being a factory destination, the factory has gradually changed into an important consumption market. If previously, 40% of Japanese enterprises invested in Vietnam to open production plants, now, this rate is only 20%. “There is a shift from production investment to non-manufacturing sectors, especially trade. Although the structure and investment rate change, Vietnam is becoming more and more attractive and a market expected by many Japanese enterprises” – the representative of Japan trade promotion organization affirmed.

In fact, the potential of the Vietnamese market has been proven by Japanese sellers through specific data. Although most of the goods imported from Japan to Vietnam are famously expensive, higher than the common ground compared to other imported products of the same type, the attraction of Japanese goods still increases rapidly, especially in the field of dining and beauty.

For example, in the field of food and drink, in 2019, Vietnam ranked 6th in the top 10 markets importing agricultural, forestry, aquatic products and Japanese food, by 2020, Vietnam has risen to the 5th position, only after major markets Hong Kong, the US, China, Taiwan and the market with the highest import turnover growth of this commodity group, reaching more than 17%. “In the future, Japanese companies will arrange to export to Vietnam products that are more suitable in terms of both types and prices” – Mr. Hirai Shinji shared.

Retail and trade attract investment capital

Seeing the changing consumer trend, the increased demand for high-end goods and the increasing proportion of people with incomes from quite or more, the business people of the country of the rising sun are actively expanding their business in the Vietnamese market. In the last days of April, the Vietnamese market is preparing to receive the participation of a new member from Japan: the branch of Meiji Food Company officially came into operation to directly exploit the opportunities from the market with a population of about 100 million people and 1.5 million babies born each year. In the field of food production, Sojitz Multidisciplinary Corporation has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture with Vietnam Livestock Corporation (Vilico) to import, process and sell beef products in Vietnam.

More exciting than the presence of Japanese brands in retail, fashion, and culinary fields. Japanese retail brands in Vietnam such as Aeon, Family Mart, MiniStop, 7-Eleven, Hachi Hachi … have established a solid position, forming a separate customer group. The Muji brand also presented its first store in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (opened from November 2020) with a list of more than 5,000 items; aims to open a number of other stores in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, although the Covid-19 translation is still unpredictable.

In early 2020, the 14-storey shopping mall specializing in Akurihi domestic luxury goods in the heart of District 1 was put into operation, specializing in high-end Japanese domestic goods with 90% imported and manufactured goods in Japan. Here, many unique Japanese goods such as vegetables, tubers, fruits and seafood are 100% transported by air to Vietnam. Also at this center, the first store of high-end Japanese children’s clothing brand – Miki House was operated. According to Mr. Senda Hiroshi, Miki House’s international sales director, many Vietnamese tourists who have come to Japan to buy products from Miki House many times, now they can buy these products in the country.

In October 2020, Matsumoto Kiyoshi – a retail brand of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics with more than 1,700 stores across Japan – also officially opened the first store in Vietnam at Vincom Center Dong Khoi, Ho Chi Minh City. This store sells many exclusive products of Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Most recently, in March 2021, the popular Japanese fashion brand UniQlo opened its 7th store in Vietnam after more than 1 year of operation in Van Hanh Mall (District 10, Ho Chi Minh City). According to Mr. Osamu Ikezoe, General Director of UniQlo Vietnam, the business in Vietnam exceeded expectations, UniQlo stores received good feedback from customers. Therefore, the company will continue to pursue the strategy of opening traditional stores with a large area, located in prime locations.

Mr. Hirai Shinji assessed that UniQlo’s initial success in two big cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, strengthened the confidence of Japanese businessmen, and created motivation for other businesses to seek business opportunities in Vietnam. Increasing people’s income is one of the important factors for Japanese businesses to move to Vietnam market.

Ho Chi Minh City is an important market

Mr. Hirai Shinji said that Vietnam is the only market where members of the Japanese Business Association increase in the year of the Covid-19 2020 pandemic. Japanese companies pay special attention to the Ho Chi Minh City market. The Japanese Business Association established a branch in Ho Chi Minh City with 1,060 members. From 2018 to 2019, Ho Chi Minh City is home to the most Japanese companies investing in compared to other provinces and cities.

“Big retailers such as UniQlo, Muji, and pharmaceuticals like Matsumoto Kiyoshi have all opened stores, demonstrating the Japanese retail industry’s interest in the big market in Ho Chi Minh City” – Mr. Hirai Shinji cited and added. The problem of the city is to solve the problem of infrastructure to attract more effective investment. Specifically, Ho Chi Minh City is a big city, if left as it is now, it will still develop; However, in order to become a well-developed Southern key economic region, it is necessary to connect with neighboring provinces, in particular to improve transport infrastructure with the provinces.

“The city is still an interesting destination, but businesses started looking to neighboring provinces such as Binh Duong, Long An, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, showing how important connection with other provinces is. We went from Ho Chi Minh City down.” Ca Mau takes 6.5 hours, it takes more than 2 hours to go to Vinh Long … in the future, if the travel time is shorter, the opportunity to attract investment will increase significantly “- the head of Jetro in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Post and photo: Thanh Nhan

Source: nld.com.vn – Translated by fintel.vn