Vietnam has been isolated from the rest of the world since the end of the Vietnam War. This isolation caused the Vietnam's economy to experience shortages in supply of commodities (Kadomae, 2012). Vietnam shifted from centrally-planned economy to the socialist-oriented economy in 1986. The objective of this transformation was to decentralize the industry, introduce, market mechanisms, motivate foreign investors and trade. The thriving of the private sector and other entrepreneurial businesses, together with the mushrooming of small and medium enterprises has resulted in a rapid improvement of Vietnam's economy (Gillespie, 2012), hence better living standards (Maruyama & Trung, 2007). Due to the improved living standards and increased income, consumers have developed a desire for reliable goods and better services. The retail business in Vietnam has therefore become competitive. Vietnam is amongst the highest populated countries in Asia, with half of its populating falling below 30years of age.The Retail business has been growing due to modernization, increased competition and rising disposable income (A.T, Kearney). This study inspects the factors that influence the growth of retail businesses in the market. Vietnam is under the process of retail business modernization. There is an increase in new stores, examples being supermarkets, convenience stores, hypermarkets and shopping centers. Vietnam got a WTO membership in 2007. Vietnam was the most attractive upcoming retail market destination in 2008 (Maruyama & Trung, 2007).
The first supermarket was in use in Vietnam in 1993. The number has increased rapidly over the years. Supermarkets have also shifted their focus from dry items, processed foods, and other non-food products to fresh foods. Others also have resolved to a limited range of goods. The rapidly developing economic status has also led to local governments encouraging local retail businesses in the towns. Today, small businesses and trendy retail shops are presents in all cities in Vietnam. Vietnam being a full member of the WTO by 2009 opened the retail market to foreign investors who has over the years improved the sector adversely (Lusch, 2006)).
Previous research has shown that rapid influx of supermarkets in developing countries has been inspired by the following factors: rising incomes, enhancement of higher education, urbanization, women empowerment and employment and increase in consumers' demand (Maruyama & Trung, 2007).
Over the years, consumer preferences, tastes, and behaviors have changed substantially. This shift in preferences, taste, and behavior has been as a result of the introduction of internet technology into shopping. Increase production of more complex and sophisticated products geared towards consumer satisfaction. The introduction of alternatives to doing a real shopping, having shopping malls situated next to main recreational facilities such as hotels and stadiums, and development of online shopping websites where consumers can make orders and have their orders delivered without having to go to the shopping places physically.
Research questions and hypothesis:
The objective of this study is to give a clear insight of modern retail businesses in Vietnam. The following quizzes have been designed to help pursue the primary purpose of this study.
I. What are the forms of modern retail businesses that are practiced in Vietnam?
II. How has the modernization of retail business affected local retailers in Vietnam?
III. How do the modern retail business owners take their competitive position and store image as compared to other retailers?
IV. What are the leading retail players in Vietnam?
V. What is the situation of the retail market in Vietnam?
VI. What are the difficulties faced by retailers in Vietnam?
VII. What is the evaluation of the local modern retail business owners on their performance?
Research design and Sampling Plan
Doing research in Vietnam has a considerable number of challenges. The problems include different cultures, social circumstances, different political environment, and insufficient reliable materials. Creating a close personal relationship with retail business owners is also another challenge, since doing official introduction is not taken seriously (Mantsios, 2010).). Consequently, the researchers have a limited access to the sources of information which has an effect on the credibility of the research results. This reason has been considered when selecting a qualitative analysis technique that entails interviews and several case studies as the most preferred methodology for the study.
The collected primary data is justified by the insufficiency of the secondary data about Vietnam's mode of retailing sector.
Designing the questionnaire:
The chief executive has a detailed questionnaire developed by the literature review. This type of polls helps to give an in-depth knowledge and experience from scholars and members of the AVR. Association of Vietnamese Retailers, AVR, has staff members that have a deeper insight of the Vietnam's retail market. There is a final type of the questionnaire designed for the retailers. This version of the questionnaire has four parts (Layton & Grossbart, 2006). The first section gives a deep understanding of the profile of the retail business. The second sections have details dealing with their operation. The third section describes the challenges they are having. The last section asks about how they evaluate their performance and the performance of their competitors. The sample of the retailers to be used during the research is got from the AVR. The selected listing should include all best performing retail chains in the country. This sample is considered representative of the whole retail market in Vietnam. The willingness of the AVR should help a big deal in bypassing the possible challenges to be experienced during carrying out research in Vietnam, some of which are mentioned earlier in this document. The questionnaires that are addressed to the chief executive officers of firms should be officially submitted to them by the members of the AVR. There is a plan to conduct ten interviews.
AVR should carry out the interviews, the interviewees being CEOs of the top local retailers. Five significant government dignitaries. These discussions will help have a deep insight of points that cannot be explained using statistics and numbers. Direct interviews also provide an opportunity to ask questions and ensure that the information collected is clear and understandable. Each interview should take between one hour to two hours. For confidentiality reasons, the company names and interviewees should not be included (Goldman, Ramaswami & Krider, 2002). Observations and shop visits in close to all retail outlets in HCM and Hanoi are also essential during the research process.
Potential Ethical Issues:
Ethics is considered as one of the key aspects during research. It is, therefore, important to consider ethical issues during conducting of research. Any research involving or having effects on human beings must have the approval of the involved parties. The researcher, therefore, needs to consider these potential ethical risks involved during the research. Particular attention is geared towards sensitive matters and participants with vulnerabilities. Some sensitive topics that might affect participants include terminal illness, racism, corruption amongst others. Some areas such as race and crime may bring misunderstanding if not handled with care (Figuie & Moustier, 2009). The members of the community on which the research is based expect the researcher to behave according to their social norms and rules. This goes down to the dressing code and the kind of language used.
The issue of confidentiality can also cause a significant challenge when conducting research in Vietnam. This arises when the people who are supposed to give the information are not willing to give accurate information due to one reason or the other. The researcher is, therefore, unable to collect data to the integrity required.
The other ethical issue that may arise during the research is the need for compensation. Some participants might want compensation for their participation during the research process (Maruyama, 2011). The researcher should, therefore, come up with a fair way of treating the participants, including cash payments if need be. This should, however, be done cautiously to avoid allegations of bribery. -
Conducting research in a community with people with different definitions of norms, different cultures, different standards and lack of trust can be challenging. Different people may have same ethical rules, but interpret them differently (Burney, 2008). One's behavior can also be ethical, but illegal or unethical but legal. Hence, ethics and the rule of law does not mean the same thing.
Honesty is another ethical issue that may arise during the research. The people giving information during the investigation are expected, to be honest, and avoid giving fabricated information. However, this is not always guaranteed.
Openness is another ethical issue that should be considered (Kearney, 2013)). Both the researcher and the participant should they open to each other and refrain from fear of disclosing certain information. This openness will lead to the collection of a more accurate date that represents the whole situation in the market.
Respect is also a key ethical issue to be considered. Conducting a research involves interacting with people of different age groups. It is, therefore, ethical to treat every participant with respect as this will also boost their willingness to be part of the research and to provide accurate information on the situation of the retail market (Nielsen, 2012).
The key objective of this research is having a thorough understanding of the retail business in Vietnam. To keep track with the changing retail market practices in Vietnam, current retailers must modernize their stores.
Burney, A. (2008). Inductive and deductive research approach. Retrieved, 9(21), 2010.
Figuie, M., & Moustier, P. (2009). Market appeal in an emerging economy: Supermarkets and poor consumers in Vietnam. Food Policy, 34(2), 210-217.
Goldman, A., Ramaswami, S., & Krider, R. E. (2002). Barriers to the advancement of modern food retail formats: theory and measurement. Journal of Retailing, 78(4), 281-295.
Humphrey, J., McCulloch, N., & Ota, M. (2004). The impact of European market changes on employment in the Kenyan horticulture sector. Journal of International Development, 16(1), 63-80.
Kearney, A. T. (2013). Global retailers: cautiously aggressive or aggressively cautious. Global Retail Development Index.Layton, R. A., & Grossbart, S. (2006). Macromarketing: Past, present, and possible future. Journal of Macromarketing, 26(2), 193-213.
Lusch, R. F. (2006). The small and long view. Journal of Macromarketing, 26(2), 240-244.
Mantsios, G. (2010). Vietnam at the Crossroads: Market socialism and the Vietnamese labor movement. In New Labor Forum (Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 32-39). The Murphy Institute/City the University of New York.
Maruyama, M. (2011). Modern retailers in transition economies: The case of Vietnam. Journal of Macromarketing, 0276146711421932.Maruyama, M., & Trung, L. V. (2007). Supermarkets in Vietnam: Opportunities and obstacles. Asian Economic Journal, 21(1), 19-46.
Maruyama, M., & Trung, L. V. (2007). Traditional bazaar or supermarkets: a probit analysis of affluent consumer perceptions in Hanoi. International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 17(3), 233-252.
Nielsen, A. C. (2012). Nielsen Vietnam Grocery Report 2008.
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