Starting in May 2021, Vietnam saw a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, which led the government to impose another lockdown in Ho Chi Minh and in more than 20 provinces in Vietnam, obliging people to stay home and only go out for basic necessities such as buying groceries or medicine, or to work at factories or businesses allowed to operate. In addition, the majority of traditional grocery retailers was also required to close due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the sales channel.
In 2021, convenience stores focused on developing their omnichannel presence. For example, some players, such as GS25, 7-Eleven, Circle K, built mobile apps in a bid to increase sales.
International players dominate the convenience stores channel in Vietnam, with four of the top five brands being owned by foreign multinationals in 2021. The convenience stores format is still relatively novel for local players, while international brands benefit from long-established activity in the channel.
Over the forecast period, when the Vietnamese government is able to control COVID-19 in the country to an extent that makes social distancing and other restrictions unnecessary in the country, more Vietnamese consumers will feel it safe to resume their normal lifestyles again. Until then retailing faces further challenges, including attracting customers who now wish to spend less time in convenience stores and other indoor shops.
Younger consumers, especially teenagers and students, constitute the core consumer base of convenience stores. These consumer groups see convenience stores not only as places for shopping, but also as important social hubs due to their air-conditioned environments and the fact that they offer opportunities to socialise without spending as much money as in a restaurant or café.
While cash remains the preferred payment method in Vietnam, which has a largely rural population and lacks a highly developed payment infrastructure, mobile payment is developing in urban areas. Mobile payment players such as Momo, Zalo Pay and Air Pay are using a variety of tactics to attract consumers, including partnering with more banks and collaborating with more retailers, including convenience stores.
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Chained grocery retail outlets selling a wide range of groceries and fitting several of the following characteristics: Extended opening hours Selling area of less than 400 sq metres Located in residential neighbourhoods Handling two or more of the following product categories: audio-visual goods (for sale or rent), foodservice (prepared take-away, made-to-order, and hot foods), newspapers or magazines, cut flowers or pot plants, greetings cards, automotive accessories. Sales data excludes foodservice sales. Example brands include 7-Eleven, Spar. Note: The number of branches required to be termed chained varies from country to country but is usually ten or more. If a multinational is operating in the country, then this is included, even if there are fewer than ten outlets under the brand.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Convenience Stores research and analysis database.
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