Products for mothers and children worth $7 billion, but consumers prefer imports

VietNamNet Bridge – The market of products for mothers and children in Vietnam appears to have huge potential, but it is not easy to earn money from it.

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Located opposite the Hanoi Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital is Kids Plaza which distributes products for mothers and children. 

Being a well known brand and located in an advantageous position, each sale at the shop is only between tens of thousands of dong and hundreds of thousands of dong.

Bibo Mart’s CEO Trinh Lan Phuong who appeared at a recent Forbes Vietnam event, said while the market of consumer goods for mothers and children in Vietnam is worth up to $7 billion a year, it is difficult to conquer the market.

After 11 years of operation, Bibo Mart now has 124 shops across the country. It was was valued at $142 million in late 2016. 

The market of products for mothers and children in Vietnam appears to have huge potential, but it is not easy to earn money from it.

Kids Plaza is a rival of Bibo Mart. Established three years later than Bibo, Kids Plaza now has 72 shops throughout the country. In some areas, where there is Bibo Mart, there is also a Kids Plaza. 

Con Cung, Shoptretho and TutiCare are also well known names to mothers.Soc&Brothers, with five stores in Hanoi and HCMC, is known as a chain specializing in retailing Japanese imports, from diapers, milk, and clothes to consumer electronic products.

However, many clients said the chains can only satisfy common needs, while they still meet demand from middle-class clients who want to spend big money on products for children.

Oanh, 34, in Hanoi, said she and her husband had an outbound tour before she gave birth, during which she bought many items for the child that she could not find in Vietnam.

“I don’t feel secure and satisfied about the products available in the domestic market.  At some shops, low-quality Chinese products are sold together with high-quality products,” Oanh said.

Oanh said she sometimes buy things at Bibo Mart and Kids Plaza. However, she doesn’t buy milk from the shops. “I order real foreign products overseas,” she said.

She also complained that there are not many brands in the Vietnamese market. If mothers want to buy a stroller, they have to go to Combi, Seababy, or Aprica. There are many more brands, and the prices are VND80,000-150,000 cheaper. 

In other countries, Oanh spends VND10 billion on average on each bill. In Vietnam, she spends VND500,000 only on each shopping trip.

Phuong of Bibo Mart said to compete with rivals in the market, investors need to make heavy investments. Bibo Mart, for example, has invested millions of dollars on technology and ERP & CRM systems.


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