Famous fashion brands have been making their presence felt in Vietnam, with Zara having been in the country for two years and H&M for one year. Japan’s Uniqlo has also announced its intention to enter the market in 2019, having acquired 35 percent of the shares of Vietnamese women’s fashion brand Elise. According to Satoshi Hatase, Uniqlo’s vice president, the brand is targeting Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar for expansion, believing that Southeast Asia will offer higher growth rates thanks to the strong rise of the middle class. Zara and H&M have been doing particularly well in Vietnam. VIRAC, a market analysis firm, reports that after four months of operation, Zara Vietnam had revenue of VND321 billion, or VND2.8 billion a day, and pre-tax profit of VND38 billion. The brand’s revenue in the first half of 2018 increased by 133 percent to VND950 billion, or VND5.3 billion a day. H&M’s Southeast Asia director, Fredrik Famm, believes Vietnam is a young and developing market that has contributed significantly to the company’s growth.
However, other Vietnamese brands say they have advantages which allow them to stand firmly in the market. Chau Tien Group, which sells Alantino under a franchise contract, has been developing well amid the ‘fast fashion storm’ as its targeted clients are businessmen who are unaffected by fashion trends. They said that their customer wants to wear branded clothes to “show their upper class in society”.