Vietnam would become a centerpiece in the development strategy of Japan’s major retail group AEON, according to Yasuo Nishitohge, CEO of AEON Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Vietnam - centerpiece in Japan’s AEON development strategy as fifth mall opened
The opening ceremony.

AEON sees huge potential in Vietnam and expects to expand investment activities in the country, said Nishitohge at the launching ceremony of AEON Mall Ha Dong in Hanoi on December 5.

AEON Mall Ha Dong is the Japanese retailer's second shopping mall in Hanoi and the fifth in Vietnam, covering a total floor area of 150,000 square meters in Duong Noi Ward. The mall is filled with 221 stores selling both domestic and international products and varying in catering services, fashion, entertainment and household appliances, among others.

AEON Mall Ha Dong is the firm’s largest facility in Vietnam and is equipped with technology-integrated services and environmentally-friendly design.

There is also a zone for start-up businesses and young designers to freely discuss and express their ideas.

Vietnam - centerpiece in Japan’s AEON development strategy as fifth mall opened
Executives and local officials cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the shopping and entertainment complex AEON Mall Ha Dong on Thursday. (Photo: Hoang Son)

AEON Mall Vietnam aims to turn the latest compound into the largest shopping and entertainment place for customers at all ages.

AEON Group’s shopping centre developer also expects the complex will become a spearhead that helps drive the district’s socio-economic growth.

Vietnam’s retail market is going through rapid transformation, for which Nishitohge said the group is studying the behavior of Vietnamese customers and their demands, Cafef reported.

One of AEON Group’s principles is to blend in with the local community and people, while contributing to the development of the local area, AEON Mall Vietnam general director Iwamura Yasutsugu said at the opening ceremony.

Vietnam - centerpiece in Japan’s AEON development strategy as fifth mall opened
Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung.

At the launching ceremony, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung expected AEON to continue achieving successes in Vietnam, in turn promoting the Vietnam – Japan friendship.

Referring to the target of having 20 mega supermarkets in Vietnam by 2025, AEON Vietnam’s CEO Nishitohge said AEON is focusing on metropolises such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, before expanding to other cities. Nishitohge added this would be a huge challenge for AEON, but the group is determined and ambitious to realize this target.

Vietnam - centerpiece in Japan’s AEON development strategy as fifth mall opened
Yasuo Nishitohge, CEO of AEON Vietnam and Southeast Asia, at the press conference.

According to Nishitohge, AEON expects to set up its next malls in Can Tho, Da Nang, Vung Tau, and Dong Nai.

The company not only finds ways to improve the quality of services at the mall and helps upgrade the transportation system but also seeks solutions to develop the local economy and the living conditions for local people, he added.

Through environmentally-friendly designs, AEON Mall will not only be a shopping and entertainment center but will also become a green and civilized destination for customers, Iwamura said.

Total revenue of AEON to date in Vietnam is US$322 million, according to a report by McKinsey & Company in September 2019.

In June 2017 and October 2018, the Hanoi People’s Committee and AEON signed memorandum of understandings (MoUs), aiming to facilitating the group’s investment activities in Hanoi and promoting Vietnamese exports in general and Hanoi’s in particular into its global distribution network.

AEON targets to raise Vietnamese exports via the group’s distribution network to US$500 million in 2020 and US$1 billion by 2025.

From the rate of Vietnamese goods below 40% in AEON super markets in 2014, it now increases to over 80%, while over 2,600 local enterprises become main suppliers to AEON with thousands of products.

AEON Mall Vietnam entered the country in 2013. Before the launch of AEON Mall Ha Dong, the company has constructed and operated four compounds Hanoi, Binh Duong and HCM City.

Mi Lan