Foreign Fashion Brands Eye Mergers, Acquisition In Vietnam

Though many foreign fashion brands like Zara, H&M and Mango have been present in Vietnam, many such brands from abroad are now acquiring stakes in Vietnamese companies to strengthen their position in the domestic market. Japan’s Uniqlo recently acquired a 35 per cent stake in Vietnamese firm Elise and will open its first store in Ho Chi Minh City next year.

Elise has more than 100 outlets across Vietnam.

Uniqlo’s store in Vietnam will be operated through a joint venture between Fast Retailing and Mitsubishi Corporation.

Another Japanese apparel manufacturing giant Stripe International also acquired Vietnam’s NEM Group’s women’s casual brand NEM late last year to penetrate the country, according to Vietnamese media reports. Stripe saw Vietnam as a strategic market.

Tran Thi Thanh Thuy from the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the deals proved that the Vietnamese market is attractive to foreign firms with advanced technologies, experience, efficient governance and strong finances.

More than 200 foreign fashion brands operate in Vietnam, offering a wide range of products from mid- to high-end ones, and holding 60 per cent of the market share, according to the Vietnam Retailers Association.

Foreign brands’ interest is because of the industry’s high average growth rate of 15-20 per cent, said chairwoman of the Vietnam Retailers Association Dinh Thi My Loan. A Nielson report said Vietnamese spending on clothes is now the third priority, after spending on food and savings.

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