Foreign brands stirring up a passion for fashion in Vietnam

By Ha Phuong   September 16, 2017 | 11:05 pm PT
Foreign brands stirring up a passion for fashion in Vietnam
People lining up in front of H&M store before its debut in Saigon last Sunday. Photo by VnExpress
Vietnam's fast fashion market is moving and shaking at a dizzying speed.

The time of fast fashion in Vietnam has finally arrived, according to the latest report released by consulting firm Savills.

The Southeast Asian country has emerged as one of the most promising markets for fast fashion brands such as Zara, Old Navy and H&M over the past year, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

In the fall last year, when Spanish brand Zara made its debut in Saigon, it was just the beginning. 

Zara itself is expanding and a new store will be opened in Hanoi soon. Its cousins, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, have also dipped into the market targeting over 90 million potential Vietnamese customers who have developed an appetite for fashion.

Vietnam's fast fashion market is moving and shaking at a dizzying speed, said Pham Thai Binh, head of retail at Savills. The country is in a period of economic transition, and its consumer behavior is changing.

Reasonably priced clothes are the key to winning customers, the report noted. By setting prices for selected items at 15-20 percent less than its stores in Malaysia and Singapore, Zara has triggered a craving for fashion in Vietnam.

While Zara fever has yet to cool, Swedish giant H&M, another casual fashion brand, has stepped in. 

Last Sunday, the opening of its first store in Saigon attracted around 4,000 shoppers. It's the fifth new market the brand has set foot into over the past two years.

Affordable prices have also been the trump card for H&M's success in more than 53 countries.

Japanese giant Uniqlo and American Forever 21 are also rumored to be getting in on the action. 

Fast fashion competition in Vietnam is heating up and most of the key players are foreigners, so Binh warned domestic fashion retailers to be more sensitive to changes in consumer behavior in order to stay in the game. 

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