Vietnamese wood product enterprises need to develop local market

Vietnam ranks amongst 10 biggest wood product exporters in the world with the country’s furniture export turnover having crossed US$4 billion this year.

A customer choosing wood furniture items (Photo: SGGP)

However, Vietnamese wood product enterprises are focused more on finding   new markets in the world and have forgotten and pay little attention to developing the domestic market which has an annual turnover of about US$1 billion.

According to the Handicraft & Wood Industry Association (HAWA) in Ho Chi Minh City, to develop the domestic market, enterprises need to survey and adopt a long-term strategy.

Years ago, some enterprises found potential in the home market. Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Hoa Phat Corporation and AA Corporation ( for Interiors and Furniture) have found their own direction in exploiting the market in the country.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai has built its own distribution system and outlets in the country, while Hoa Phat has its specific product line, that is difficult to replicate by other enterprises. AA Corporation returned to the home market after it received  orders to supply Vietnamese furniture to five-star hotels like Sofitel Old Cataract, Grand Geneva Resort and a palace in Kuwait.  It is now considering the home retail market as a long-term strategy with five brand names, said its chairman Nguyen Quoc Khanh.

Enterprises find it hard to sell products as exporters get used to   large orders and payment methods, while the domestic market is rather insecure. Although wooden furniture is selling along Ngo Gia Tu Street in District 10 and Cong Hoa in District Tan Binh in HCMC, the shops here are too small with no link between producer and seller.

HAWA said manufacturers should link with owners of these stores in order to increase the market, for which it will help provide information on product lines, telephone numbers and websites addresses of producers to more than  2,000 stores, showrooms, supermarkets and interior decorators.

The second Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessory Fair 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City gave exhibitors a wide range of opportunities.  Through the event, distributors and manufacturers came to understand more about consumer needs.

By Cong Phien - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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