As the co-operative sector continues to grow in Vietnam, a retail co-operative union has been included in the top 500 of retailers in the Asia Pacific region.
The Sai Gon Union of Trading Co-operatives has been featured in the list of 500 retailers 12 times. The union has also received the gold award from Retail Asia Magazine for being one of Vietnam’s top retailers.
Launched in 2004, the retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 is the first regional ranking for the sector. The rankings are based on research conducted by Euromonitor International every year and take into account retail sales, growth and the business area for retail. The top 500 looks at ten retail formats: clothing, footwear & accessories stores, convenience stores, department stores, hardware stores, health & beauty stores, hypermarkets, media stores, sports goods stores, supermarkets and other retailers.
The countries included in the list are: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The Sai Gon Union of Trading Co-operatives was set up in 1996, following the country’s transition from centralised planning system to market economy in the late 1980s. The same year the union opened its first Co.op Mart supermarket and in 1998 members voted to operate a Co.op Mart supermarket chain.
The co-op diversified its businesses and it now also owns food store chains, commercial centres and a TV shopping channel. Sai Gon co-op also runs import-export activities with international companies. It has around 100 supermarkets nationwide and hundreds of other shops selling non-food products.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam has named Sai Gon Co-op among the top ten brands in Vietnam. Co-operatives in Vietnam have a strong relationship with the government. The People’s Committee, which represents the executive arm of the provincial government, is responsible for supervising the management of co-operatives.
In 2013 the co-operative sector contributed 5.05% to Vietnam’s economy. According to recent figures published by the Central Economic Commission, co-operatives had a revenue of USD $ 1.17bn in 2014, up by 9.32% from 2013. The country has over 143,000 primary and secondary co-operatives with a total of 1.51m members.