Learning Objectives


1. To discover the relationship between cultural influences and the architectural development in South Vietnam

2. To have a deeper understanding of urban planning issues and the interplay of the matrices of determinants involving physical attributes, commercial feasibility, social fabrics as well as political factors in particular relating to Generation Z (Those born between the early 1990s and the early 2000s).

3. To be aware of the impact of rapid urbanization on the environment and the need for sustainable development in the urban planning process.

4. To gain an insight of Singapore’s strengths in urban planning and sustainable environmental management skill-sets

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 6 Reflections (May 28) — Si Yuan, Stacey, Davina & Niklaus

Level 1 of An Dong retail market

Multistory Lotte Mart

Vietnamese modern retail outlet, Sieu Thi Co-opmart

EQ 1: Observing the changes in the 2 different retail outlets; traditional and modernized

After visiting 3 of the many malls in Vietnam,  a common amenity that can be found is a game centre. All 3 old and new malls has a game centre. The older malls has a game centre at the top most level of the mall but the newer malls have a game centre at the basement of the mall. This was something I found most interesting because I didn't expect Vietnam malls to have game centres, because of the perception that Vietnam has not been developed to the point at which they can spend on recreational activities. Basically, some of the differences that can be observed easily is the width of the aisle, the number of people in the malls, and the smell of it. The newer ones are wider than the older ones because of area constraints. If the old malls are to be expanded, prices will definitely have to rise and that the consumers will decrease, and because of that, a chain reaction will take place. The weird smell in the older malls are caused by the lack of air-condition. The main issue now is the in-balance of consumers between the different shopping malls. Finally, the last difference between the older malls and the newer ones was that the prices are a bit more flexible in the older malls and that they are cheaper too. Hence, I can conclude that there are definitely a difference between the different classes of shopping centres. 

EQ 2: The transitions of the retail outlets in HCMC from the traditional to the modern retail outlets

The Vietnamese government is improving the quality of life in Vietnam by providing more jobs, living spaces, schools, hospitals, services. Included in services are retail and entertainment—where the retail market comes in. The government demolishes or moves traditional retail outlets to make way for more modernized ones. The shopping malls have to meet the demand of the people’s higher quality of living and thus more modern retail outlets selling higher quality items are slowly springing up in many areas of Ho Chi Minh City. Some reasons why consumers may not go to traditional retail outlets could be the difficulty of organization. The disorganized and overcrowding of shops pose many problems such as the smaller aisles that are usually filled with bags, thus making movability around the shops harder and with the combination of flexible prices, it could create a lot of problems for the shoppers. 

EQ 3: How is the retail development in HCMC a reflection of the country's development

Modern retail outlets, as compared to traditional outlets, provides comfortable, enjoyable, quality and simple shopping inside a single shopping center. The trade off is higher the command of price that is require for the purchase of products or services. As such Newer shops would be built to cater to the growing middle class locals and the tourist coming to the country. They include modern technology like lifts, touch screen navigation to shops, air-conditioned shopping environment and more contributes to make the experience more enjoyable at the retail centers. All these modern technology present in modern retail outlets are the effects of retail development. This comes at a time when Vietnam’s economy is currently growing at a very fast pace. It is one of the fastest growing country in Asia with Inflation growth per year at 8% in Vietnam, while average countries have an increase of 3% per year, Vietnam’s GDP also have a tremendous growth of 6.7% per year. At the rate at which Vietnam’s economy is developing, naturally the spending power of its citizens will increase due to the higher job opportunities available to the citizens. Higher spending power will result in higher demand of quality services and products in the country. Thus the retail development in HCMC is reflected in the country's development as higher spending power will cause citizens to want to shop in better developed retail outlets as there are  better experience and quality. 

EQ 4: The Comparison of singapore and vietnam modern retail outlet

During the visit of the various modern retail outlets in vietnam, we noticed many different characteristics between the modern retail outlets in both countries. The modern retail outlet can be categorized into two different category of spending power. There are higher end retail outlets that sells branded items like Channel and there are retail outlets that either have shops that sells items suited to the middle class or shops that sell items for the middle class and higher class.
Comparing the middle class retail outlets in both countries in general, the Vietnam retail outlet has up to 2 times wider aisle in department stalls as compared to singapore. Also the store space are bigger due to the cheaper per square foot rent. The reason of this could be down to the cheaper land prices which allows these modern retail markets to be built "horizontally" instead of "vertically". As building "horizontally" is considerably less expensive than building "vertically". With bigger surface area, similarities of both malls would be the concept of the interior design, which is elegant and designed to look sophisticated. There are also the mode of transport in the mall, which are escalators and lifts. These are just some of the similarities present. 

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