Aeon Expands Private Brand in offering in Southeast Asia

Japanese retailer Aeon is taking advantage of expanded free trade in Southeast Asia to grow its private brands in countries like Vietnam.

Leading the private-brand growth is Aeon’s Tan Phu Celadon mall in Ho Chi Minh City, which opened in 2014. Brightly colored Aeon private brand polo shirts with tight fits and large collars, in line with Vietnamese style, sell for about 149,000 dong ($6.40), one-sixth the price of other foreign brands.

Giorno Mimosa, an Aeon-owned store and private label exclusive to Vietnam, handles over 100 goods like clothes, shoes, bags and wallets. Although the store, which debuted in 2016, is built to Japanese standards and advertises Japanese quality, the products are made by local companies. Its sales are expected to grow 50% in the year ending in February.

“We have increased sales 60% by focusing on Vietnamese culture and tastes,” said Yasuo Nishitoghe, general director of Aeon Vietnam. The strategy has yielded several hit products. “They have more items that I want than before, and it is cheaper, too,” said a 25-year-old man who works in a Ho Chi Minh City hotel.

The retailer has opened up four Aeon Mall locations in Vietnam since 2014, with plans for as many as 20. The company opened its second location in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh in June, its largest store in Southeast Asia.

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Christopher Durham
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.