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Vietnam: Millennials lure global fast fashion brands

"Vietnam is fast becoming a hub for fast fashion companies such as Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, etc. Higher disposable incomes and increased awareness towards brands is driving sales in Vietnam. While price remains a major factor for purchasing decision, consumers are not shying away from new fashion even at the cost of paying a bit higher. The millennials, accounting for a third of the population, are now the country's driving force, and have higher standards of fashion and higher exposure to global trends via internet/social media and travel experiences."

 

 

Vietnam Millennials lure global fast fashion brands

 

Vietnam is fast becoming a hub for fast fashion companies such as Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, etc. Higher disposable incomes and increased awareness towards brands is driving sales in Vietnam. While price remains a major factor for purchasing decision, consumers are not shying away from new fashion even at the cost of paying a bit higher. The millennials, accounting for a third of the population, are now the country's driving force, and have higher standards of fashion and higher exposure to global trends via internet/social media and travel experiences.

Brands wooing customers

Vietnam fast fashion brands

 

Vietnam is moving towards global trend of standardization and brands want to offer the same customer experience everywhere in the world, so they have strict guidelines to meet demands and roll-out concepts that are proven to work in multiple countries. This potential roll-out in Vietnam is a real opportunity for Vietnamese people to gain access to these products, some of which they are already aware of.

Vietnam is a country where local brands and local makers can offer more unique and individualised products but what Vietnamese want today, especially the younger generation, is to have international brands that offer modernity and a feeling of being part of the wider world. These brands may be offering mass market products, but that's what young shoppers are aspiring to, and new store openings will likely drive increased traffic to the numerous shopping malls that have seen an increased emergence in key cities in recent times.

These brands are attempting to raise the shopping experience in Vietnam by offering a comfortable, spacious and premium shopping area with a clean store lay-out and iconic shopping bags to make the shopping experience easier and more interesting. Technology augmentation would also impact the shopping experience substantially. With these companies strong financial support, iPads at pop-up kiosks would aid customers in locating shelves of their desired stuff may soon be introduced for enhancing shopping experience. These are slated to reshape the Vietnamese tilt for fashion.

What consumers want

With Vietnamese fashion fragmented, it would take time for these brands to bring in the desired change. Having said that there is greater potential to be explored. Currently most people buy either unbranded products made by local tailors, products from local fashion brands, or imported products from Thailand or even China. When international brands enter Vietnam, it is unlikely that they will be adopted by the major part of the population. Even if disposable incomes are increasing, the low and middle classes are not ready to change their purchasing behaviour to buy much more expensive products all the time.

While these international fashion brands can be considered mainstream by global standards, they will probably be typecast as ‘affordable premium’ or even ‘premium’ by most Vietnamese shoppers. The key lies in making products affordable and accessible for the masses.

Price points would be a key factor in introducing new trends and one surely can’t charge more with the advent of social media. Vietnamese consumers are connected/informed and will buy from overseas if the price in Vietnam is higher. The second key aspect is to bring in newer trends rather than selling their previous unsold collections. Vietnamese are quite in tune with the latest trends and do not want old stock-outs from other countries. These international brands will provide a new alternative to young consumers and will probably have great success in the short term if the price is not too disconnected from what they currently pay for local brands.

 
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