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Sumitomo to open supermarket in Vietnam

Trading house targets middle class with Japanese-style retail

A Summit supermarket in Tokyo. Parent company Sumitomo plans to bring the Japanese-style retail experience to Vietnam.
A Summit supermarket in Tokyo. Parent company Sumitomo plans to bring the Japanese-style retail experience to Vietnam.

TOKYO -- Sumitomo Corp. will open its first Vietnamese supermarket this month, using its modern Japanese-style retail expertise to draw increasingly well-off middle-class consumers in a country still dominated by traditional markets.

Fujimart Vietnam Retail, a joint venture between the Japanese trading house and local retail and real estate conglomerate BRG Group, will launch one store in Hanoi by year-end. Two more are expected to open there in 2019.

Sumitomo has invested the equivalent of millions of dollars in the venture. While BRG controls the company, Sumitomo selects the president, and it has sent personnel from Japanese supermarket unit Summit as well.

The stores will use Summit's point-of-sale system and a loyalty program to analyze customers' shopping habits and stock products more efficiently. Following the Japanese model, prepared foods will be made in-store, and temperature control will keep food fresh.

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