Saigon co-operative makes top 10 Asia Pacific retailers list

A retail co-operative from Ho Chi Minh City has been included in a list of the top 500 Asia pacific retailers. Set up in 1996, the Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives owns a number of businesses, including the Co.opMart supermarket chain, Co.op food store chain, Co.opXtra, Sense City commercial centre and TV shopping channel HTV Co.op.

The union, which has been featured in the list 12 times, has also received the gold award from Retail Asia Magazine for being one of Vietnam’s top retailers.

Saigon Co-op is the leading co-operative retailer in Vietnam, and early this year was named among the country’s top ten brands by the ministry of industry and trade.

Following the transition from a centralised planning system to a market economy in 1986, private enterprises and co-operatives started to play a significant role in commodity production. Known as Doi Moi (Economic Renovation), the open door policy opened the market to foreign investors.

Saigon Co-op opened the first Co.opMart supermarket in 1996. Two years later, members decided to operate a Co.op Mart supermarket chain at their annual congress.

The co-op union started joint ventures and import-export activities with well-known international companies.

Saigon Co-op imports raw materials for production, consumer goods and food. It also exports agricultural and sea products, processed foods, clothes and handicrafts to Europe, Asia and the USA. The Union has around 100 supermarkets nationwide and hundreds of other shops selling non-food products.

Co-operatives in Vietnam have a strong relationship with the government. The People’s Committee, which represents the executive arm of the provincial government, is responsible for supervising the management of co-operatives.

Launched in 2004. The retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 is the first regional ranking for the sector. The rankings are based on research conducted by Euromonitor International every year and take into account retail sales, growth and the business area for retail. Counties include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The top 500 looks at ten retail formats: clothing, footwear & accessories stores (CFA stores), convenience stores (C-stores), department stores, hardline stores, health & beauty stores, hypermarkets, media stores, sports goods stores, supermarkets and other retailers.