HA NOI — Modern retail centres, convenience stores and supermarkets are having an impact on traditional markets and the livelihood of thousands of merchants throughout the city, a seminar in HCM City heard on Friday.
The seminar of merchants, producers and distributors, held to seek solutions to the problem, also heard that customer concerns about fake goods, poor quality and hygiene at traditional markets.
The seminar heard that new private convenience stores also had cheap prices because of modern distribution channels and promotions which were not available to traditional market traders.
Consumers preferred to buy quality and safe goods at reasonable prices with after-sales services and they were also taken with innovative designs and eye-catching packaging, the seminar heard.
Vo Thi Phuong, a trader at the Bau Cat Market, said businesses should supply high-quality and safe products at traditional markets.
According to Vietnamese goods ambassador, actor Quyen Linh, sales at traditional markets had nearly halved over the past three years while sales at supermarkets had increased because customers wanted safe products.
Huynh Khanh Hiep, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said there should be co-ordination among ministries and sectors. The department would work with local authorities where traditional markets were located to reduce unfair competition.
Enterprises should produce high-quality products and innovative designs to attract customer, Hiep said. The department also recommended distributors offer promotions at traditional markets to help increase their attractiveness as well as their purchasing power.
Duong Thi Ngoc Dung, chairman and CEO of VinatexMart, said it was essential to create an awareness for local consumers that using Vietnamese goods "means patriotism and national pride".
She said most people wanted to use Vietnamese goods so her enterprise focused on setting up retail sales and distribution channels, partly to help change customer awareness.
When other countries launched local goods consumption programmes, imported goods would be driven back, she said, but in Viet Nam, this was not the case and it would be a long battle to correct the situation, with many obstacles.
Most Vietnamese enterprises were facing difficulties in delivering goods to the market, especially in rural areas, because they did not have enough financial resources to build up retail distribution channels, she said.
"It is necessary to intensify production, improve quality, diversify designs and enhance competitiveness with foreign goods, particularly those from China," she said. "Firms also should also cut costs and prices.
"The State should support them to bolster distribution channels domestically and abroad." — VNS