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Australian Chain Gloria Jean's Coffees Exits Vietnam After 11 Years

On the heels of homegrown restaurant chain The KAfe’s exit from the local market, Australian coffee franchise Gloria Jean’s Coffees is the next to go.

According to VietnamBiz, Vietnam's last Gloria Jean’s Coffees (GJ) outlet, in the Grand View building in District 7’s Phu My Hung, closed its doors on April 20.

Hoang Khai, the owner of the store, told the news source that his location has always been one of the most successful shops in the chain. However, the store’s contract recently ended without a renewal from the Australian parent company.

Khai elaborated that GJ generally has had great success in other Asian markets, but fumbled in Vietnam because of a lack of market insight. The country’s coffee shop market is also notoriously cutthroat and volatile. GJ’s decision to stay close to its Australian business model might have hurt the brand more than it helped.

In 2006, GJ arrived in Vietnam under the franchising model with a local firm, reports VietnamNet. At the time Billy Sin, the chain’s regional manager in Asia, had high hopes that Vietnam’s robust economy and growing middle class could create success for the foreign coffee brand.

GJ also expected its focus on Arabica beans – instead of Vietnam’s commonly used Robusta beans – to differentiate the chain from existing competitors.

However, the reality was that Saigoneers weren't as taken with the brand as expected, and GJ only managed to open six stores over six years, a glacial pace compared to the dizzying rate of expansion of The Coffee House or Phuc Long today.

As of the end of 2016, the chain only had two locations in town, one in the vicinity of Turtle Lake and another in Phu My Hung, whose recent closure marked the end of GJ’s business in Vietnam.

[Photo via Vietnam Coffee]

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