Mobile phone retailer Vien Thong A shuts up shop

By Dy Tung   January 10, 2020 | 04:28 pm PT
Mobile phone retailer Vien Thong A shuts up shop
Motorbike drivers ride past a closed Vien Thong A store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Dy Tung.
Vien Thong A, one of Vietnam’s earliest mobile phone retail chains, has shut all outlets after two decades of operation.

All its Ho Chi Minh City shops were closed as of Thursday, some featuring "property for lease" signs while others held nothing but empty shelves.

Vien Thong A, established in November 1997, operated 240 outlets nationwide at its peak, some inside supermarkets like Big C, alongside 100 maintenance stations.

The chain was listed among Asia Pacific’s top 500 retailers by market researchers Euromonitor and business magazine Retail Asia, with revenues quadrupling from $102 million in 2013 to $416 million in 2017.

In the same year, CEO Hoang Ngoc Vy announced a plan to restructure the company, seeking investors to expand business.

In September 2018, the company’s legal representative was replaced by Mai Thu Thuy, a senior Vingroup employee.

Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate, confirmed it had acquired the chain in November 2018, managing a total 242 Vien Thong A shops as well as electronics chain VinPro as of September last year.

However, Vien Thong A outlets started to close down soon after Vingroup announced it would dissolve VinPro to focus on technology and manufacturing in December last year.

Vietnam’s consumer electronics retail market reached revenues of $609 million last year, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent, and is estimated to expand by 11.7 percent this year, according to German data portal Statista.

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