Japanese apparel company Wacoal Holdings Corporation has confirmed to just-style it will open a store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, next month to coincide with deregulation of the country's retail market.
Wacoal has a production-only subsidiary in Vietnam, which was established as a production base for South East Asia in 1997.

However, up until now local laws have prohibited it and other foreign apparel makers from actually selling products in the country.

Ongoing deregulation in Vietnam will mean that wholly-owned subsidiaries of overseas firms will be able to sell products in the Vietnamese retail market.

Wacoal said it had long been prepared for such a move and plans to open ten of its own stand-alone shops and ten outlets in existing in department stores by 2011.

The company said it was aiming for combined annual sales of JPY300m (US$3.25m) a year and intends to use the deregulation to help expand its sales in the rest of the region.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.