A person shops in a supermarket in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City on March 26, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
An expanding middleclass and increased incomes will see Vietnam’s retail and services revenues rise 1.6 times that of 2020 to $350 billion by 2025.
The revenues reached VND5,060 trillion ($219.6 billion) in 2020 and is set to record a growth rate of 9-9.5 percent in the 2021-2025 period, analysts with stock brokerage VNDirect say in a report, citing projected growth figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Vietnam’s nationwide social distancing period in 2020 lasted only 22 days, considerably shorter than other countries, and this has reduced pressure on domestic consumption growth, the report says.
Consumer confidence in the country fell just 5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, compared to the 26 percent drop in Singapore and 19 percent in Indonesia, according to market research company Nielsen.
With Vietnam able to contain two major Covid-19 outbreaks, the retail sector is set to see a jump in growth next year as consumer confidence rises and a vaccine becomes available, the report said.
VNDirect forecasts a 8.5-9 percent growth in revenues from the retail and services sector in 2021, compared to 2.6 percent in 2020.
The report says this growth will be achieved by several factors, one of them the expansion of major retailers such as electronics seller Mobile World and jewelry company Phu Nhuan Jewelry.
Mobile World increased its share of electronics consumption from 39 percent to 42 percent in the first six months of 2020.
Phu Nhuan Jewelry has expanded its market share from 23 percent in the first quarter of 2020 to nearly 36 percent by the third quarter.
Another growth driver for the sector will be the expansion of foreign retail chains. Japan’s Muji in 2020 opened its first outlet in Vietnam, also its largest in the Southeast Asia.
Another Japanese company, medical and cosmetic chainMatsumoto Kiyoshi, also opened its first store in HCMC, while fashion brand Uniqlo opened new outlets in Hanoi and HCMC.
Commercial rents in Hanoi and HCMC are still among the lowest in ASEAN cities, and this means that when the Covid-19 pandemic is contained, revenues and profits of retail real estate companies will soon recover to pre-pandemic levels and achieve strong growth afterward, the report says.