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The Vitamin Shoppe Expands in Asia

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The Vitamin Shoppe is expanding to Asia through a partnership agreement with Kim Lien Group for the Vietnam market.

Under the country license agreement, Hanoi-based Kim Lien Group will open and operate The Vitamin Shoppe stores in Vietnam, as well as launch wholesale distribution of The Vitamin Shoppe proprietary brands in Vietnam.

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The first store, a two-level, 1,500-square-foot space, opened Jan. 6 at 58B Ba Trieu Street in the Hoan Kiem district of Hanoi. The store offers vitamins, supplements, sports nutrition and other health and wellness products, 90 percent of which are under The Vitamin Shoppe’s proprietary brands, such as The Vitamin Shoppe, Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, BodyTech Elite, Fitfactor Weight Management System, Fitfactor Keto and ProBioCare. That’s different from the 715 stores operated by The Vitamin Shoppe in the U.S., where the majority of sales are from third-party brands.

One interesting aspect of sales within Vietnam is that direct phone marketing is popular, so the stores expect to significant sales through telemarketing to customers.

Kim Lien Group will open a second location of The Vitamin Shoppe in about a week, at 49 Phuong Mai Street in the Dong Da district of Hanoi. Additional stores in Vietnam are planned.

A wholesale distribution strategy for The Vitamin Shoppe brands will launch in the coming months, with a focus on pharmacies, gyms and spas throughout Vietnam.

The agreement marks the first country license agreement in Asia for The Vitamin Shoppe. Through other licensing agreements, the company operates eight stores in Panama, 10 stores in Guatemala and three stores in Paraguay.

“We continue to see additional opportunities with international partners and plan to expand The Vitamin Shoppe into new growth markets,” said Sharon Leite, chief executive officer of The Vitamin Shoppe. She said in Vietnam there is “strong interest in our products and increasing demand for high quality health and wellness brands.”

Founded in 1994, Kim Lien Group operates a group of automotive, restaurant and hotel businesses in Vietnam, including 16 auto dealerships for Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and MG.

Anh Hoang, vice chairman of Kim Lien Group, will manage The Vitamin Shoppe business in Vietnam. “This partnership journey started when I visited one of The Vitamin Shoppe stores in Boston to find health solutions for my mother, Madame Lien, chairwoman of Kim Lien Group,” he said. “I was impressed with the customer experience, the knowledge of the health enthusiasts [the store associates], and the product assortment in the store. Since then, Kim Lien Group realized that the Vietnam market could benefit tremendously from the products and services of The Vitamin Shoppe. During this time, Vietnam was having serious issues with fake supplements from unknown sources distributed here. We wanted to end that fear and bring a trusted, high quality brand from the United States to Vietnam, so that consumers can confidently shop for health and wellness supplements here.”

Kim Lien Group expects key product categories in Vietnam to include vitamins, probiotics and digestion, healthy aging, herbs, omegas, antioxidants, collagen, bone and children’s health.