Emart scouts Vietnam with business partners

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Emart scouts Vietnam with business partners

A business development team from Emart, a Korean discount chain, is traveling in Vietnam with 25 of its partners to scout out business opportunities in the growing Southeast Asian market, the retail giant said Wednesday.

The small and medium-sized companies accompanying the massive conglomerate are suppliers of Emart’s in-house brand called No Brand. The crew is in Vietnam through Saturday to visit various retail channels and participate in Vietfood & Beverage - Propack, a major trade fair with around 500 food companies from over 20 countries.

Emart said the rising popularity of No Brand products at its foreign locations prompted the company to plan the joint trip with its SME partners. No Brand products marked overseas sales of 4.3 billion won ($3.8 million) last year, according to the company, and accounted for 43 percent of all products that Emart exported in 2016.

The company’s stores in Vietnam are doing particularly well. The Gobap branch in Ho Chi Minh City made an average 300 million won per month in sales during this year’s first quarter, which is double the sales made in Emart’s Korean locations.

The trip’s program includes lectures on consumer goods trends in Vietnam from industry specialists and case studies of how to enter the local market, Emart said.

For small and medium-sized businesses, launching into an overseas market is an especially difficult task that requires extensive networks and capital. Working with a conglomerate like Emart is one way for them to expand abroad.

Seogwang F&B, for example, manufactures No Brand’s citrus tea. Before contracting with Emart, the company did not make any sales at outside Korea. When Emart started putting its No Brand citrus tea on store shelves in China, Mongolia and Vietnam last year, Seogwang F&B made its first annual revenue from exports worth 400 million won.

Last year, Emart exported 32 billion won worth of products, among which 45 percent were manufactured by some 400 Korean suppliers.

“The event was organized in order to enforce the competitiveness of our SME partners and open new opportunities for them to enter foreign markets,” said Jung Dong-hyuk, a senior director on Emart’s corporate social responsibility team.


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]



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