FujiMart: The perfect blend of Vietnamese cuisine and Japanese service culture
On occasion of the launch of the premier FujiMart outlet in Vietnam, the Investment News had an interview with Keisuke Hitotsumatsu, General Director of FujiMart Vietnam on the supermarket model where Vietnamese cuisine was honored by dedicated service of Japan.
Keisuke Hitotsumatsu, General Director of FujiMart Vietnam. Source: Investment Time
FujiMart is the result of a partnership between the BRG Group and the Sumitomo Group. Why did the two sides decide to choose the retail market, which is highly competitive nowadays?
Despite the drastic competition, recent macroeconomic data released recently showed that the demand of the Vietnamese retail market is growing at a double digit rate. The economy of Vietnam has a bright prospect, leading to better life quality for the people.
Many Vietnamese friends often tell us that Vietnamese consumers’ mindset has changed as the economy grows. In the past, the motto of "sufficient food, durable clothes" has now changed to "delicious food, good-looking clothes". In addition, the retail food industry is witnessing a big change when the demand for food safety is placed as top priority. This is the reason that the traditional market has been gradually transformed into a model of modern supermarkets and shopping malls.
Both BRG and Sumitomo possess abundant resources to invest in this project. Especially Sumitomo has over 50 years of experience in operating supermarket chain. Therefore, our cooperation in the Vietnamese market is also a way to make use of the joint efforts, contributing to the continuous development of the retail industry in Vietnam.
Through the FujiMart supermarket model, both BRG and Sumitomo wish to bring to the Vietnamese people the most delicious, nutritious and safest food products.
Front view of FujiMart Vietnam. Source: Investment News
In Japan, Sumitomo's supermarket chains are renowned for their capability of ensuring the freshness of the produce as well as to provide dedicated services. Will there be the two core elements which are to be applied at FujiMart?
Exactly, we are sure that FujiMart will also be known as a great model of supermarket operation in Vietnam as we are bringing our core values to Vietnam. Our supermarkets, for example, will practice the "5S" principle, the guideline for the manufacturing, retail and service industries in Japan to best serve Vietnamese consumers. The Japanese standard "5S" is understood as Seiri -Tidiness (Throw away all rubbish and unrelated materials in the workplace), Seiton - Orderliness (Set everything in proper place for quick retrieval and storage; Seiso - Cleanliness (Clean the workplace; everyone should be a janitor); Seiketsu - Standardization, Standardize the way of maintaining cleanliness), Shitsuke- Discipline Practice ('Five S' daily - make it a way of life; this also means 'commitment').
Many consumers worry that the business concept "Fresh delicious every day" will significantly increase the cost of operation and lead to higher product price? What is your opinion?
We will apply the most modern and effective management models to increase labor productivity and minimize operating costs. The desire to bring the freshest products to the consumer also means that we have to deal with both of the two factors: quality and price.
Dining corner in FujiMart VN. Source: Investment News
In addition to the factors you’ve just mentioned, what is the difference between the FujiMart model and other retail models in Vietnam?
We will bring unprecedented shopping experiences to Vietnam by providing consumers with the value of Japanese service. Besides, we admire the Vietnamese culinary culture and the way it is connected with with the people.
I believe the combination of Vietnamese cuisine and Japanese culture will surely satisfy consumers coming to FujiMart.
Retail business is a long journey. According to the anticipation of BRG and Sumitomo, in order to successfully implement the project, which are the possible challenges the two sides need to overcome?
With the aim of providing the best value for our Vietnamese consumers, we have chosen to operate on the blend of Vietnamese culinary culture and Japanese standard in terms of product and service. To be able to achieve that harmonious combination, both BRG and Sumitomo spent a lot of time and effort on discussing and working to produce the best performing model you will ever experience in the coming time.
However, this model will have to be very flexible and constantly adjusted to meet with consumption trend and market demand which vary across time. This is the biggest challenge, but I believe that, when both BRG and Sumitomo share the same vision to improve the living quality of the Vietnamese people, we will surely find a common voice to work together and maximize the value offered to consumers./.
( Translated by Phi Yen )