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Vietnam’s WinMart+ makes move into franchising

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Customers shop at the first WinMart+ franchise store in Hanoi. MASAN

Vietnam’s WinMart+ makes move into franchising

Wincommerce General Commercial Services JSC, a subsidiary of Vietnam’s Masan Group Corp, has opened its first two WinMart+ franchised stores in Hanoi and Bac Giang.

The opening marks the start of Masan Group’s plans to have 20,000 franchised stores and 10,000 of its own outlets to serve 30-50 million consumers by 2025.

After starting operations in 2014 and being acquired by Masan in 2019, WinCommerce (WCM) is currently the largest modern retailer in Vietnam with nearly 3,000 WinMart and WinMart+ supermarkets and stores in 60 of the country’s 65 provinces and cities.

Under Masan’s management, the chain has made drastic changes to everything from store layout, portfolio of goods with an increased focus on fresh products, negotiating the best deals with suppliers, and rebranding.

In the two years since it acquired WinMart+, Masan has integrated new utilities and relentlessly experimented to find the best model for it.

The mini-mall is a modern retail model that has been proven successful by Masan.

In the first nine months of 2021 WCM began trialling retail stores with an integrated mini-mall concept.

At these stores, customers can buy groceries (food and beverages) at WinMart+, tea and coffee at Phuc Long kiosk, and medicines at Phano Mart, conduct financial transactions such as cash withdrawals and deposits, money transfers and bill payments at Techcombank, and access digital services at Reddi mobile network.

It is the only consumer ecosystem that spans grocery, financial and digital services, which together account for around 80 per cent of a Vietnamese consumer’s regular spending.

Consumers can access multiple products and services at small kiosks under one roof, which increases revenues per sqm for the chain through cross-selling and upselling through convenience and an integrated loyalty platform.

Dr Vo Tri Thanh, former vice-president of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said: “WinMart+ already has a certain brand and reputation. Creating a wider network will help this retailer become increasingly stronger.

“Franchising partners can stand on the shoulders of giants, feel secure about doing business with professional operating processes, reputable brands and a large number of familiar customers.”

Running a small grocery store for 20 years, Nguyen Thi Thao (Le Phung Hieu, Hanoi) has changed strategy to cooperate with WinMart+. Her shop now also sells fresh products and takeaway Phuc Long tea and coffee instead of just the few dry goods she used to in the past.

Thao said: “I am very happy because my store now has more than 3,000 products from reputed and popular brands to sell to customers. Customers who come to my shop all say WinMart+ is very prestigious.”

Dr Thanh also spoke about Masan’s achievements in digital transformation and its successful integrated mini-mall model, and said it has a wide supply and sales network.

In addition to the 3,000 WinMart and WinMart+ points of sale the consumer-retail giant owns, it also has a close relationship with 300,000 traditional retail outlets.

“These are advantages for Masan to start the franchise model,” Dr Thanh said.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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