French retail group Auchan to exit Vietnam

French retail group Auchan to exit Vietnam

Shopping trolleys are seen at the entrance of an Auchan hypermarket. Photo by Reuters/Stephane Mahe

After five years, French supermarket group Auchan Retail plans to sell its loss-making business in Vietnam. 

On Wednesday, Auchan Retail CEO Edgar Bonte told French newspaper Les Echos that the group had decided to sell its 18 stores in Vietnam.

An unnamed source told VnExpress that Auchan’s Vietnam operations have been bought by a domestic retail group. The French group’s supermarket system is expected to be transferred to the buyer next month.

According to Bonte, their business in Vietnam generated revenues of 45 million euros ($50.4 million) last year, but was making losses. He did not provide figures of the losses.

Auchan Retail’s plans to sell its business in Vietnam is already drawing interest from potential buyers, a company spokesman told Reuters.

According to Le Monde, Auchan is the last remaining Western distributor in Vietnam, after French multi-national retail chain Groupe Casino withdrew in 2016. 

Auchan’s decision to withdraw from Vietnam follows its deal earlier this week to sell almost all of Auchan Retail Italia’s operations to Conad, the Italian co-operative retail group. 

Auchan Retail had said in March that it was reviewing its loss-making markets, such as Italy and Vietnam, due to tough business conditions. 

Auchan Retail’s supermarket system began operating in Vietnam in 2015. It has established 13 supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City, four in Hanoi, and one in Tay Ninh, which is situated north-west of HCMC. 

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