U.K. based department store chain Debenhams will open its first outlet in Vietnam this Friday in Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown under a franchising agreement between the Debenhams PLC and a local firm.
The store, at the Kumho Asiana Plaza, at 39, Le Duan Street, District 1, will introduce well-known designers’ brands from the U.K. and Europe, according to the Viet Thai International Joint Stock Company (VTI), the local franchisee.
The company said the first franchise store of Debenhams in Vietnam would stock some 55 renowned brands, including Debut, Red Herring, Mantaray and Jeff Banks, The Saigon Times Daily reported.
Among the merchandise available at the venue are fashion clothing, lingerie, children clothing and fashion accessories.
“Vietnam’s economic growth over the last decades has enhanced the development of modern, high standard shopping,” Francis McAulley, international director of Debenhams said. “Our partner, Viet Thai International is a prestigious and experienced company in retailing and distributing premium brands and we are glad to cooperate with the firm to bring Debenhams to HCMC.”
“Debenhams will bring a world-class shopping experience to HCMC at Kumho Asiana Plaza,” Julie Larochelle, head of the Consumer Lifestyle Division of VTI, said. “We want to offer local consumers a European experience.”
Vietnam currently has more than 1,000 convenience stores, 250 supermarkets and trade centers compared to more than 9,000 traditional markets and about 250,000 retail venues of other types.
The country was named the sixth most attractive emerging market destination for retail investment in the world this year by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
Retail sales in Vietnam have been enjoying steady growth over the past four years, from around US$23.7 billion in 2005 to $39 billion last year, U.S. market research firm RNCOS said in its Vietnam Retail Analysis Study for 2008-2012 report released in July.
VTI is better known as the owner of the popular coffee shop chain Highlands Coffee with 60 outlets across the country. The firm has also signed a franchising agreement to open the first Hard Rock Café in Vietnam, also in the complex.
Department store group Debenhams specializes in key product categories, including fashion clothing, household products, health and beauty, accessories, lingerie and children clothing.
It has 155 stores across the U.K. and Ireland as well as 50 international franchise outlets in 17 countries.