HCM CITY (VNS)— With about 10 days before the beginning of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, the usual hustle and bustle associated with the period is missing at traditional markets in HCM City.
|Customers shop for clothes at Ben Thanh Market in HCM City. With about 10 days before the beginning of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, the usual hustle associated with the period is missing at traditional markets in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Pham Do
Tran Thi Kiem Hoa of Tan Dinh Market's Management Board said "The number of people visiting markets had increased in recent days, but purchasing power remained low."
The situation has been the same at Ba Chieu and Thi Nghe markets, where Tet goods are abundant and prices are stable.
Nguyen Tan Phat, a representative of the Ba Chieu Market's Management Board, said that sales volume had fallen by more than 50 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Anticipating low sales this Tet, traders had stockpiled a smaller amount of goods this year, he said.
Sales of fresh foods like meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables have been as normal, said traders at Thi Nghe Market.
Only stalls selling dried items such as bamboo shoots, vermicelli, rice, sugar and green bean have reported higher sales compared to non-holiday periods.
Lan, who runs a dried-foodstuff stall at Thi Nghe Market, said that purchaes rose significantly this week, but much less than at the same time last year.
"Last year, besides one regular shop assistant, I also had to get my sister to help me, but not this year," she said.
Traders at traditional markets said purchasing power at traditional markets had fallen yearly since consumers were shifting to supermarkets and convenience stores due to better services, stable prices and year-round promotions.
They said they hoped that sales would surge next week, or from the 25th day of December on the lunar calendar.
Several supermarkets in HCM City report that the number of shoppers recently had risen sharply compared to normal days.
Huynh Thi Ngoc Tram, in charge of public relations for the Big C supermarket chain in the
southern region, said purchasing power had increased strongly from last weekend as residents prepared for Tet.
Dried foods, confectionery items and Tet gifts, especially those priced under VND100,000 and between VND300,000 and VND600,000, were among the bestsellers, she said, adding that demand for fresh food was expected to increase next week.
Other supermarkets like Vinatex, Maximark and Lotte Mart have also reported more customers in the last few days. With abundant supplies this year, prices are not expected to fluctuate much, according to many supermarkets.
Supermarkets have also launched many promotions to stimulate demand.
Co.opmart supermarkets, for example, is offering discounts of up to 49 per cent on 2,000 products, including essential items, housewares, electronic appliances and fashion items until February 9 (Lunar New Year Eve).
It had also increased the supply of goods by fourfold to meet customer demand.
Similarly, the Big C supermarket chain is offering discounts of 5-50 per cent on 800 items, including dried and fresh food, housewares and clothes from now to February 9.
Starting from February 3, it will increase the number of cashiers and extended trading hours to better serve customers.
Other supermarkets such as Lotte Mart and Vinatex are also offering promotions.
As of today, Vissan Limited Company, which is active in the processing and trading of fresh and frozen meat, has completed preparation of goods for Tet, with an increase of 15 per cent over the previous year's Tet.
The company said it would ensure that there would be no shortage of meat for Tet, and that prices would remain stable until after the holiday. — VNS