Japan’s Aeon looks Grow Private Brand in Southeast Asia

AeonJapanese supermarket operator Aeon plans to expand its private brands for the Southeast Asian market to roughly 2,300 items by fiscal 2017, working with local manufacturers to develop locally relevant products.

The Japanese retailer is betting heavily on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations market, starting with supermarkets in Malaysia and Thailand. For the past two years, it has also been opening stores in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. Aeon is now concentrating on Vietnam as a source of growth. It hopes to quadruple the size of its network in Vietnam to 200 store. In addition to its own stores, Aeon will sell private brands products through partner retailers.

Aeon is focusing heavily on growth in Southeast Asia. The retailer’s Thai and Malaysian subsidiaries will introduce new products under the Topvalu brand. In Thailand, the goal is to grow the brand to 800 items within two years. It currently offers about 200 store brand products, including clothing and daily essentials.

In Malaysia they will expand its private brands from around 950 items to 1,500 in two years. It will expand its line of halal products — food and other products that comply with Islamic law — to meet demand from Malaysia’s predominantly Muslim population.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.