Imported garments are flooding Vietnam and are becoming ubiquitous at all outlets from shopping malls to roadside shops.
Locally-made clothing used to be popular in the country but now products from China, Thailand, South Korea, and Cambodia account for 40 percent of shelf space in shopping malls and supermarkets.
The domestic industry churns out garments that are poor both in design and fabrics, according to retailers, who also said domestic designers lag behind international fashion trends.
Vietnamese clothing is more suitable for middle-aged people, while imports from Thailand, China, and South Korea appeal to the young and fashion-conscious.
Some Vietnamese garments do appeal to the more fashionable – like those made by local brands NinoMaxx, PT 2000, and Blue – but they are more expensive than imports.
A pair of NinoMaxx jeans costs VND400,000-VND450,000 while a comparable Chinese or Cambodian product costs just VND200,000-VND300,000.
Besides, retailers prefer imported clothing because of higher margins – of 40-60 percent compared to the 25 per cent on Vietnamese clothing.