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Dec 06, 2019 / 14:38

Vietnam – a land of promise for global fashion brands: Fast Retailing CEO

Vietnam is on track to become one of the biggest consumer markets in the world, said Japan’s richest man and CEO of Fast Retailing Tadashi Yanai.

Vietnam with its young population is a land of promise for global fasion brands, including Uniqlo, according to Tadashi Yanai, founder and president of Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company.

 Tadashi Yanai, founder and president of Fast Retailing (middle). Source: VnExpress.

Vietnam has massive potential and will be one of the biggest consumer markets in the world, Yanai told local reporters at a press conference on December 5, one day before the launch of Uniqlo’s first store in Vietnam.

The shifting trend of production facilities from China to Vietnam is due to various reasons, but the most important one is the high quality of made-in-Vietnam products whichmeet growing demands of the world market, added Yanai.

Yanai said he expected Uniqlo to soon launch its second store in Hanoi, and gradually open hundreds of stores nationwide.

Uniqlo is expected to face fierce competition from other renowned fashion houses such as H&M and Zara, along with other domestic brands for Vietnam’s market, which is estimated by Seedcom venture capital at US$5 billion in 2018, and US$7 billion in 2023.

Osamu Ikezoe, co-chief operating officer of Uniqlo Vietnam, previously said Uniqlo Dong Khoi, located in Ho Chi Minh City, would be the largest Uniqlo store in Southeast Asia, adding he hopes it will become a new magnetic focal point of Ho Chi Minh City’s lively retail scene.

Uniqlo Dong Khoi will be operated through a joint venture between Fast Retailing and Mitsubishi Corporation, who will own 75% and 25% of the company, respectively, reported Nikkei Asian Review.

Vietnam is one of the key markets for Uniqlo, which currently has more than 2,000 stores worldwide and plans to quadruple the number of stores in Southeast Asia to 800 in 10 years.

Apart from operating the retail market, Fast Retailing also counts Vietnam as its second largest manufacturing hub after China as it already has 50 disclosed suppliers in the country.

Yanai said that Uniqlo exports US$3 billion worth of products from Vietnam annually. He said that due to the quality of Vietnamese-made products,they are accepted worldwide. "Vietnam will have increasing presence in the world market," he added.

According to Nikkei, Yanai told media earlier this year that the company's dependence on Chinese suppliers would decrease over time as it expands production faster in other countries, in hopes that the diversified supply chain would absorb geopolitical risks and economic changes. In about two years, the number of disclosed factories in Vietnam rose by 60%.

Tadashi Yanai was named as the world’s 31st richest person by Forbes and the richest man in Japan, with net worth of US$24.9 billion.