Ho Chi Minh City has seen an increase in the number of Christmas decorative goods manufactured by Vietnamese firms, besides Chinese products, in recent years, which has amazed local buyers.
These products come in a wide range of models, are of high quality, and have been sold at an equal or even cheaper price than Chinese imports, creating their own foothold in the market.
City shops have become busier to welcome the festive season since early December.
Ky Dong Street in District 3 has been crowded with many people coming to buy decorations in preparation for Christmas.
“People have already prepared for Christmas for months, so I’m a little bit late now,” Truong Phu Chau said while looking for some decorations in a shop.
He said he wanted to buy a Christmas tree for VND250,000 (US$12) and small Christmas tree ornaments such as string lights and Santa Claus statues which cost from VND5,000 ($0.24) to VND70,000 ($3.30).
The number of Christmas ornaments produced by Vietnamese firms has risen significantly this year, surprising local buyers who saw only Chinese-made products before.
Huynh Thi Mai in Tan Binh District, who was seen buying decorations for her coffee shop, told a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter that she was surprised to see Vietnamese products on the market.
“Most of the products that I saw such as Christmas trees, reindeers, and Santa Claus statues are all Chinese-made. I did not find any goods produced by Vietnamese companies in the past,” she added.
“I’m surprised to see many eye-catching, sophisticated, and environmentally-friendly products made by Vietnamese firms this year,” Huynh Lan, a buyer on Ly Thuong Kiet Street in District 10, said.
A shop owner on Vo Thi Sau Street in District 3 also stated that locally-made products had cost more than imports in previous years. This year, these goods have an equal or even cheaper price, giving consumers more choices.
“Local products are now not only cheaper but also more sophisticated and flashy than imports. We ordered more than 1,500 products made by Vietnamese firms to sell this Christmas. This number is three to four times higher than last year’s order,” the owner said.
Locally-made Christmas decorations are also being sold at big supermarkets including Co.op Mart, Maximark, Satra, and Citimart as well as bookstores such as Fahasa and Phuong Nam.
The Big C supermarket on Truong Chinh Street in Tan Phu District has hiked by 100 percent the area devoted to selling Christmas decorations this year, in which local products account for 40 percent of the goods – two times higher than last year.
Products come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors and have been made from various materials such as paper, composite, and plastic. The prices range from thousands of Vietnamese dong to more than VND1 million ($47).
Locally-made, multifunctional products
Lam Thuy Nguyen Hong, creative director of Gia Long Fine Art Joint Stock Company in District 3, told Tuoi Tre that 2014 is the first year the company has launched dozens of Christmas product lines with more than 100 models called “Kibu.”
Goods including makeup hats, lights, and ornaments have been priced from VND21,000 ($0.99) to VND77,000 ($3.6) each. Big Christmas trees and reindeers made from carton paper were already ordered by restaurants and coffee shops a long time ago.
“The seasonal product line is very competitive due to the products imported from other countries, especially China. Therefore, innovative and multifunctional are the two most important characteristics for a product to survive,” Hong explained.
A representative from Diem Truc Limited Company in District 9 announced that the firm has already prepared over 100 kinds of products for this Christmas, which is double the amount from last year.
“Chinese products account for a large market share thanks to their cheap price and eye-catching designs. However, now locally made products are not only attractive but are also able to ensure quality as well as health safety for consumers,” Diem Truc’s representative said.