Global franchisers, retailers eye Vietnam market


With its rapidly growing economy and a 95 million population of whom 60% are young consumers, Vietnam is an attractive destination for global franchising and retail businesses.


Speaking at a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on October 9 to introduce the 2018 Shop & Store Vietnam Expo, Suttisak Wilanan, deputy managing director of Reed Tradex, said many franchises in the food, education and other sectors are being established in Vietnam and the entry of more new brands is imminent.

The spending habit of Vietnamese consumers is now moving towards modern retail and their demand is becoming more individualized, he said, adding that this provides an opportunity for global franchises.

Vietnam’s franchise market has been ranked eighth by the International Franchise Association.

Figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that 183 brands have registered as foreign franchises in Vietnam, mainly in the food and beverages, education, fashion, convenience stores, business services and hotel sectors.

A majority of them are from the US, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Canada and the Philippines.

Nguyen Phi Van, founder and president of Retail and Franchise Asia, said: “Many foreign franchise business delegations led by government agencies have come to Vietnam to seek opportunities in the sector.”

Countries in the region use franchising to export their business models and brands to the world since they have no longer export goods with low value, she said.

The Malaysian Government has, for instance, a full-year programme that states clearly how many business trips it would organise in a year to Vietnam to support businesses seeking franchisees.

“Many franchises in other countries in the region also want to enter the promising Vietnam market,” she said.

The sectors with the greatest potential are food and beverages, education, health and nutrition, business services, hospitality, fashion, beauty and skincare, entertainment, children’s services, and convenience stores.

The Vietnamese franchise market is still new, and local businesses do not have much understanding of or experience in it. There is also a shortage of human resources in the sector, she said.

The first Shop & Store Vietnam to be held in HCM City from March 28 to 30, 2018 would offer a good platform for foreign franchises to understand more about the Vietnamese market while local entrepreneurs could learn from successful franchises to build their brands, she said.

Wilanan said the exhibition is expected to attract 200 local and foreign exhibitors, 40% of them being local ones in a range of sectors.

Organised by Reed Tradex, the event will showcase retail technologies, finance software, store management system, catering and hospitality equipment, professional retail services and e-commerce systems besides seminars on franchise and retail.

The show would be an ideal platform for franchisors and retail technology providers to meet with the entrepreneurs.

He encouraged local franchisors to promote themselves at the event.

Franchising is a good opportunity for young entrepreneurs to run their own business by starting with something they believe in or can capitalise on the know-how and knowledge from successful franchisors, he added.