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The Chinese are taking over Vietnam’s clothing market   2010-01-20 - VietNamNet/SGTT

While Chinese clothes may not be universally popular they are a hit with shopkeepers as their low cost can mean big profits.


They’re also starting to get a reputation for increased individuality and targeting gaps in the market including outfits for teenagers.


Chinese goods ‘attacking’ all markets


Several hundreds types of fashionable trousers, shirts, T-shirts and dresses are on display at an array of teen shops like Song Nhac, A Chay, Sanh Dieu and Hot Girls. The owners of the shops say most have been imported from China.


Hien, the owner of a wholesale kiosk at An Dong Market, said that domestic producers don’t seem to make products for teenagers. Meanwhile, products from South Korea are expensive, at around 300,000-500,000 per item.  Therefore, Hien and other small merchants at the market are mainly selling imports from China.


“Chinese products are wholesaled at 120,000-250,000 dong only which can be retailed at 200,000 or 300,000, which are affordable to many teenagers,” Hien explained.


Hien’s sister, also a small merchant at An Dong Market, said she had sold 8,000 dresses within just one week of a stylish from China


Minh Thong, a salesman of Minh Shop in District 5 of HCM City, said that he knows only a few shops specializing in selling domestic products for teenagers such as Molo, Blood, B-Blue or Viet Thy. However, only products with simple designs have been available. Meanwhile, Vietnamese teenagers nowadays like more individual designs or designs which imitate those seen in popular films.


Thong added that there are some 50 kiosks selling clothes for teenagers on the first and second floors of An Dong Market, but only a few of them are selling domestic goods.


Now Chinese goods are also starting to take over the market for middle-aged consumers as well.


There’s another market also, that’s literally growing – for the oversized customer as Vietnamese don’t do larger sizes.


Hoa, who has been selling jeans wear for the last 20 years at An Dong Market, says he prefers selling Chinese jeans. China’s products are so diversified that they can satisfy the demand of a wide range of consumers. Hoa said that jeans priced at 300,000-750,000 are best sellers.


Chinese goods not only cheap


While many people still see Chinese goods as low quality, there is evidence to suggest that China is starting to make inroads into luxury markets.


Saigon tiep thi reporters have noted that there are more shops that sell imported products than those selling domestically made goods. The reporter estimated that domestically made products account for just 10-20 percent of the total products available at the fashion shops on Nguyen Trai, Le Van Sy and Cach Mang Thang Tam – collectively known as the fashion roads.

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