Since the ‘Buy Vietnamese goods’ movement was launched, Vietnam-made goods have accounted for 80-90 percent of items displayed at supermarkets. However, this doesn’t mean that all the goods will sell.
The information that 80-90 percent of goods on sale at supermarkets are made in Vietnam has been released by Vu Vinh Phu, Chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association.
Phu says that Vietnam-made goods have made a big leap in terms of quality improvement, while prices have become more reasonable and affordable to different classes of consumers in society. And the success of the ‘made in Vietnam’ chain of shops specialising in selling garment products may make those who are fond of foreign products reconsider.
Just within one year, hundreds of shops with “made in Vietnam” shop signs have appeared everywhere, from big cities like Hanoi and HCM City to second-and third-class urban areas. The success of ‘made-in-Vietnam’ chains shows that Vietnamese consumers do not only blindly like foreign-made products.
However, Phu also pointed out a lot of weak points of made-in-Vietnam products and Vietnamese producers: the lack of diversity of products, poor designs and the lack of attention to consumers’ tastes.
Garment products are an example. Vietnamese people nowadays have become much taller. However, garment producers have been using the same measurements for sleeves and shirt collars for the last 20 years.
This discovery of Phu may startle many businesses, which once thought that this was an insignificant thing.
Phu, as an experienced seller who has met consumers from different classes in society, noted that price is not the thing consumers care most about when deciding to buy things. In order to persuade people to buy goods, producers need to offer them products they need, and in order to do that, producers need to learn carefully about the tastes of consumers.
“Producers should well understand consumers. Consumers do not share the same tastes, Phu said.
He went on to say that no one can force consumers to purchase these goods and not to use other goods; producers have no other choice than offering high-quality products to consumers.
A lot of weak points of Vietnamese producers were pointed out a long time ago, but no considerable improvement has been seen. The biggest existing problem is the lack of association between production and distribution, which pushes sale prices up.
“Many producers have opened retail shops, while supermarkets do not have products to sell. And both producers and retailers have to borrow money from banks to do retailing,” he said.
The problem has been caused by both producers and retailers: producers have jumped into the retailing sector, while supermarkets sometimes set barriers for domestically-made products.
“In many cases, producers cannot get their goods into supermarkets in Hanoi though they spend months in negotiations. There are too many problems in the administrative mechanism, including the fee called the ‘mechanism lubricating fee’,” he said.
Another problem is that domestic producers do not ‘live together’ with their products for a long time. Traders and retailers say that post-sale services, including maintenance services, are very bad. Consumers do not know to whom they should report when they want to make complaints.
“Domestic businesses have also been very weak in building their brand names and creating prestige for their businesses. They should ask themselves why consumers still go to Metro supermarket to purchase goods, even though it is located in the suburbs of the city,” Phu said.