Besides adjusting the distribution policies and prices, Apple is supporting the authorized dealers to expand the exclusive store model to increase its brand coverage in the Vietnamese market.
Apple products have been favored long ago in the Vietnamese market. However, the people still have difficulties in approaching these products with their general income level. For this reason, they are mostly looking for hand-carried or used products – which are not encouraged by Apple in all markets. In order to change this habit, in the past 2 – 3 years, the company located in Cupertino (USA) has adjusted many policies in favor of their consumers in Southeast Asian countries.
Two of the positive changes are the policy and the distribution price. Regarding the price, the genuine products sold in Vietnam have good prices when compared to other markets in the region, maybe even more affordable than in the USA. This directly hits the hand-carried products when their prices are not significantly better than that of genuine products, which also encourages the consumers to select products in the authorized dealers, boosting the revenue of genuine products.
On the other hand, the distribution policy also becomes more favorable to all market participants with Apple. This American technology company has signed authorized cooperation agreements with many Vietnamese companies with the permission to open showrooms, offer the customers the chance to experience standard spaces, and expand the number of business locations. A series of Mono-store chains (small stores where only Apple products are sold) have appeared in many provinces and cities in Vietnam in the past 2 years, which is also an evidence for the success of its brand coverage increase strategy.
Currently, official Apple Stores (opened by Apple) have not yet been available in Vietnam but only APR and AAR Shop. These are two models of authorized stores made by dealers, which must meet the Apple’s standards. In particular, AAR Shop has small size with an area of 100 – 120 square meters, while APR Shop requires large area with more stringent standards. Most of the authorized stores in Vietnam are in the form of AAR, only two major distribution chains being Mobile World and F.Studio by FPT have APR stores.
Not stopping there, it seems that Apple is “pampering” the Vietnamese consumers when recently it is said that there are some areas with super small size to display Apple devices in Mobile World’ stores – the owner of TopZone specializing in Apple products.
With such narrow display area with only 2 display tables and 1 display shelf, this area is labeled TopZone, which is a trademark under APR standard of Apple. This have never happened before because Apple requires very rigorous design spaces, they are known for the “strictness” and no brand in Vietnam has satisfied them because most APR stores have to meet global guidelines.
With super small model, it is observed that such “mini” TopZone, if approved, will be easily multiplied nationwide due to the strength of Mobile Word’s distribution system.
Discussing with Thanh Nien, the Mobile Word’s representative confirms the existence of the mini TopZone in the supermarkets owned by their corporation. The Company confirms that they and Apple are experimenting new model for the stores with small area but located in the center.
“This form is called ‘Shop in Shop’, which is a separate Apple model for Mobile World, this model has not been complete and is still in the testing, editing period” the representative says. He also shares that a standard model will undergo many different tests and have to be edited many times to be considered complete.
Currently, the corporation is implementing “Shop in Shop” differently in 2 stores, but all are in the first version. Before it can be expanded, the design team will have a lot of work to do.
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