A VnExpress survey of HCMC shops and supermarkets shows a 10-20 percent year-on-year drop in sales of goods during the Tet (Lunar New Year festival) season.
Oanh, who runs a grocery store on Le Duc Tho Street in Go Vap District, said both wholesale and retail sale of items during the season were down by around 20 percent. Tet happens in February next year.
“This time last year, agents ordered tons of goods to stockpile for selling. But they are buying much smaller volumes for daily sales these days.”
A manager at Co.opmart Quang Trung said that this time last year, many customers ordered Tet gift baskets, but very few were doing that now, although the supermarket was offering discounts on many kinds of goods.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, retail sales and service revenues in November rose 6.2 percent against October, but dropped 12.2 percent against the same period last year. The total retail sales in the first 11 months of this year decreased 8.7 percent year-on-year.
Bui Hoang, director of a Tet gifts providing firm in Tan Binh District, said orders his company has received so far this year have fallen 50 percent over the same period last year.
A manager with leading food producer Vissan predicted that purchases of products this Tet will drop 10-20 percent over previous years. Instead of the usual two-digit increase in output in previous years, the company has only prepared 2,800 tons of pork and 4,200 tons of processed meat, a slight increase over the same period last year.
Pham Thi Huan, chairwoman of the Ba Huan company, which sells eggs, said sales was fairly weak despite many promotion programs, including discounts of 10-20 percent for processed foodstuffs.
Many supermarkets in HCMC are implementing demand stimulus programs from now to the festival. Vincommerce, which has nearly 2,500 supermarkets, VinMart and VinMart+ stores nationwide, is gearing up for the festival with promotions up to 100 percent on thousands of items. The chain is offering discounts on many items as well as gift baskets.
Ta Thi Minh Hop, supply director of VinMart and VinMart+ chains, said it was most likely that customers were tightening their purse strings because of smaller incomes or job loss as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vincommerce was increasing the supply of fresh foodstuffs, processed meat, confectioneries, jams and drinks, Hop said.
The Co.opmart, meanwhile, is stockpiling essential goods worth nearly VND6 trillion ($260.8 million) to ensure sufficient supply during the Tet season, up nearly 20 percent against the same period last year.
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