The Hanoitimes - On the occasion of the debut of FujiMart in Vietnam, Hanoitimes has an interview with Keisuke Hitotsumatsu, CEO of FujiMart Vietnam, about the retail store model where the Vietnamese food culture is being honored by the world- acclaimed Japanese top-quality service.
As the result of strong cooperation between BRG and Sumitomo, why both BRG and Sumitomo choose the fiercely competitive retail sector to do business in Vietnam under the brandname FujiMart?
Keisuke Hitotsumatsu, CEO of FujiMart Vietnam
Although the retail market is very competitive, Vietnam's macroeconomic conditions recently showed that the demand of the Vietnamese retail market is growing at a double-digit rate. We recognize the trend will continue as Vietnam's economic prospects are very positive, making Vietnamese living standard better day by day.
Many friends of mine said that the buying attitude of Vietnamese is changing as the economy is growing. Furthermore, the food retail market is about to undergo a major transformation period. Growing interest in food safety in Vietnamese people would have them shop fresh foods in modernized supermarket instead of from traditional wet market as they have been doing so far.
Both BRG and Sumitomo have great resources to invest comprehensively in this project. Besides, Sumitomo has over 50 years of experience operating supermarket chain and BRG has knowledge a variety of business in Vietnam.Therefore, we agreed to develop a modern supermarket chain in Vietnam.
Through the FujiMart retail model, both BRG and Sumitomo hope to provide Vietnamese people with the most delicious, nutritious and safety food products.
In Japan, the supermarket chain of Sumitomo is known for store operation to keep freshness and to provide good service for the customers. So, would they be the core values of the FujiMart chain in Vietnam?
Exactly, we are sure FujiMart will be also known for excellent store operation in Vietnam soon. And we bring some basic concept to organize it. For instance, let me introduce ‘5S’. ‘5S’ is a slogan, which is introduced by Japanese manufacturers, retailers and service providers. It is important for us to work based on this concept and to ensure “Fresh Everyday”.
We guess it can also be acceptable for Vietnamese and try to educate them about it. ‘5S’ can be explained as Seiri: Disposal of disused items; Seiton: Arrangement to necessary position after; Seisou: Cleaning; Seiketsu: To keep cleanliness by implementation of ‘Seiri’, ‘Seisou’ and ‘Seiketsu’ continuously in the workplace; and Shituke: Discipline.
Do you think this “Fresh Everyday” may result in higher operation costs and then making higher retail prices?
We will apply our modern management model to obtain most efficient labor productivity, to reduce markdown or disposal losses.
We will optimize all the operating expenses to offer affordable prices for the customers.
What are the differences between soon-coming FujiMart and other store chains in Vietnam?
We will create a brand-new model that Vietnamese customers have never experienced, by transplanting Japanese supermarket know-how as much as possible. At the same time, we will treasure Vietnamese food culture and communication style, because FujiMart is the supermarket chain for Vietnamese people. Seeing is believing. We welcomed all the customers. Every customer is surely satisfied with the shopping experiences we offer at FujiMart.
Doing business in retail industry requires a long term plan. So do you recognize challenges to implement the project now and in the future?
With the purpose of bringing the best quality products for Vietnamese consumers, we decide to blend Vietnamese food culture with Japanese quality of services. BRG and Sumitomo discussed many times in order to better mutual understanding and realize our concept in the first FujiMart store.
This challenge will continue forever, because FujiMart stores have to change according to the Vietnamese market trend and customers' needs. However, when both BRG and Sumitomor share the same desire to improve the quality of life for the Vietnamese people, we will always try to find a common solution to maximize value for our consumers.