13.05.2021, 16:26

Vietnamese fashion companies losing to foreign rivals on home soil

The presence of more and more foreign fashion companies in recent years is churning the market. Domestic ones face many problems like poor designs, small scale of production and lack of professionalism.

Around 200 mid- to high-end international fashion brands have set up shops in Vietnam, including Swedish H&M, Spanish Zara, and Japanese Uniqlo.

Vietnamese fashion companies are losing out to foreign rivals at home and remain shut out of overseas markets due to their poor designs and lack of professionalism, reported Vnexpress.

Vietnam’s fashion industry revenue fell 10 percent last year to VND 100 trillion (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) due to the impact of Covid-19.

The top three names in the fashion market last year were all foreign -- Germany’s Adidas, Spain’s Inditex and Sweden’s H&M -- market research firm Vietnam Industry Research and Consultancy (VIRAC) reported.

Around 200 mid- to high-end international fashion brands have set up shops in Vietnam, including Swedish H&M, Spanish Zara, and Japanese Uniqlo.

The first local name to appear in the list is in fourth place, Binh Tien Dong Nai Imex Corp, which owns footwear brands Biti’s.

State-owned textile company Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), with clothing brands such as menswear Viettien and office wear Garment10 and Mattana, was in fifth place and formal clothes brand An Phuoc Garment Co., Ltd was in sixth.

But the three, mainly focused on the office wear segment, accounted for less than one percent of market share each.

"Despite Vietnam being one of the top textile and garment exporters in the world, its fashion brands remain unknown in the world," VIRAC said.

Vietnamese fashion products are mostly exported under foreign fashion labels, who outsource production to this country.

VIRAC said local fashion companies are unable to compete due to poor designs and small scale of production though their quality is comparable.

The lack of professionalism exacerbates the shortcomings, it said, with many lacking strategies for managing and promoting their brands in the long run.

Many new brands even knock off the designs of international brands and sell them at cheaper prices for instant profit without aiming for long-term development, it said.

They need to first become more well-known in the local market by using influencers as brand ambassadors and establishing online selling channels, for which the Covid-19 pandemic is an ally, it said.

"The fashion industry needs innovations and the help of the media to take Vietnamese fashion brands to the world."

VIRAC expected sustainable fashion, designed in an environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manner, to become the main trend amid rising incomes and environmental awareness among youngsters.

To achieve sustainable development and be able to compete in the fashion industry’s global supply chain, Vietnam should not rely on cheap labour but on quality, technology, productivity, delivery time, and transparency, said President of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) Vu Duc Giang.

It also needs to minimise the consumption of energy and resources and invest in advanced technology to meet international standards on work and the environment, he added./.

Hannah Nguyen