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Big C supermarket chain closes Saigon store over rental disagreement

Wednesday, June 03, 2020, 14:53 GMT+7
Big C supermarket chain closes Saigon store over rental disagreement
A man walks past the Big C Mien Dong supermarket on To Hien Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 2, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Big C Mien Dong, a long-standing supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City now run by Thailand’s Central Group, will be closed this month over retail space rent issues.

On Tuesday morning, a notification was posted at the entrance of Big C Mien Dong on To Hien Thanh Street in District 10, informing customers that the outlet would shut down in the next 20 days due to disagreement over space rent with the landlord.

The outlet was in normal operation on Tuesday as observed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s reporters.

Tuesday’s announcement clarified that new requirements from the lessor make the supermarket fail to keep its commitment of providing quality goods to customers at affordable prices.

It added that the Big C chain and Central Group’s retail arm Central Retail pledge to arrange new jobs for the current employees at Big C Mien Dong. 

The notification was taken down later on Tuesday.

A representative of Central Retail confirmed the information to Tuoi Tre on the same day.

People shop at Big C Mien Dong supermarket on To Hien Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 2, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

People shop at the Big C Mien Dong supermarket on To Hien Street in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 2, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

The closure decision was not an easy one to make for Big C, given that Big C Mien Dong has been one of the favorite and familiar shopping places for residents in Ho Chi Minh City for a long time, according to the representative.

The supermarket chain had tried its best to reach an agreement with the lessor on the extension of the leasing contract in light of impacts from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. But everything was in vain.

“The proposals by the lessor make us unable to fulfill our low-price commitments to consumers, so we will have to cease the operations of Big C Mien Dong,” the representative said.

Central Retail will continue to serve Big C’s customers through doorstep delivery services, telesales shopping via the hotline 1900 1880, online shopping applications like Chopp and GrabMart, and at its other outlets after Big C Mien Dong closes, the representative affirmed.

Big C Mien Dong was one of the first Big C supermarkets opened by its initial owner Groupe Casino when the French retailer entered Vietnam in 2003.

In April 2016, Thailand’s Central Group announced they had finalized deals to take over Big C Vietnam from Groupe Casino for about US$1.05 billion.

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