HCM CITY — The prices of many commodities, especially fresh food, have dropped significantly over previous months, but purchasing power remains low.
The owner of a pork stall at Tan Dinh market said prices have fallen to between VND76,000 and VND95,000 per kilo, depending on the kind, compared to VND85,000-100,000 a month ago. However, sales have seen low.
She said that previously stocks had sold out before noon, but she now had to prolong sales until the afternoon although she cut prices.
Many market management boards, including Ben Thanh, Tan Dinh and Thi Nghe markets, admitted that purchasing power had fallen strongly compared to previous years.
The economic situation had affected sales, they said, adding that poor infrastructure had also caused consumers to hesitate to shop at traditional markets.
Le Ngoc Dao, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said only about 34 per cent out of 240 traditional markets in the city were in good condition, with the remaining in serious disrepair.
Dao said sales at traditional markets in the city so far this year had dropped by about 10 per cent over the same period last year.
Many small traders at traditional markets have stopped operations, or have sold their stalls or returned to market-management boards.
Dao said her department had asked relevant agencies to review the situation at traditional markets and work out measures to support small traders.
The department has developed many plans, including building brands for hygiene and food safety markets, and linking up prestigious producers and traders in traditional markets, to encourage customers to shop at traditional markets.
To attract buyers, supermarkets taking part in the city's price stabilisation programme have launched promotions.
The French-owned Big C, for instance, is currently offering discounts of 2-12 per cent on 300 essential items, including fresh food, garments and textiles, cosmetics, foodstuffs and electronic products until September 3.
Along with the discounts, other periodic promotions at Big C are being organised to offer more choices to customers.
Nguyen Thanh Nhan, general deputy director of Sai Gon Co.op, said Co.op Mart supermarkets were also offering promotions to lure consumers. — VNS