During the past years, in Vietnam, convenience store landscape has attracted a lot of foreign players, which represent the 70% of the convenience store segment.
The American Circle K is operating around 250 stores, mostly in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. The Southeast Asian chains Shop&Go and B’s mart are running another 300 stores. FamilyMart, Japan’s second largest convenience store chain, has 130 stores in Ho Chi Minh City, the nearby resort town of Vung Tau and in Binh Duong Province, and it aims to expand to 150 locations by the end of this year.
On the side of the local players, the dominant is VinMart+, with around 900 stores and is planning to round up the number to 1,000 this year or next.
With around 2,000 convenience stores in Vietnam, the space seems to be pretty crowed. Despite that, 7-Eleven (the largest Japanese convenience store chain) has decided to enter into the battle opening its first store in downtown Ho Chi Ming City. The opening was a success with thousands of people lining up to buy snacks and light meals.
The chain is planning to open around 20 outlets in Vietnam by the end of this year and 100 in the next three years.
According to industry experts, setting up a convenience store is much simpler than a supermarket. But to launch a profitable chain takes a lot of money, efforts and the location of the store can make a difference in the success or failure. Big cities are the sweetest spots but most of the places are already taken or are too expensive.
The competition begins for 7-Eleven, not only for the customers but for the best locations too.