December, 09 2013 08:38:00

HCM City shines with Christmas glitter

hristmas season has hit HCM City streets in typical glittering fashion this year.— File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS)— Christmas season has hit HCM City streets in typical glittering fashion this year.

Many city streets including major ones in the downtown area, big and small shopping centres as well as stores are brightly lit with impressive and creative festival decorations sometimes encompassing huge buildings as a whole, drawing thousands of residents every evening.

The stores are also wearing a more attractive look as they highlight sales promotions for the festive season.

Many shops on Hai Ba Trung, Vo Thi Sau, Cach Mang Thang Tam, Nguyen Trai and Hai Thuong Lan Ong streets are focusing almost exclusively on Christmas decorations and curios including pine trees, Santa Claus dolls and outfits, stone grottoes, tinsel, lights, lanterns, clothes and other gift items.

According to a shop owner on Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street in District 5, a majority of the Christmas decoration items are Chinese products that come in a wide rage of models, materials and colours. But sellers also remarked that not many new models in Christmas decorations had been seen the market this year. Also there had been no significant changes in prices compared to last year, they added.

Artificial pine trees 1.2-3m high are priced between VND230,000 (US$11) and VND1.5 million ($71) a piece, depending on the material, design and size. Small ones that can be kept on tables are priced VND30,000-150,000 ($1.4-7.1) each.

A 2m long tinsel costs about VND25,000 ($1.2), and boxes of five colourful Christmas baubles are priced from VND70,000-VND90,000 ($3.3-4.3) depending on size.

Sluggish sales

However, many vendors say that sales remain sluggish despite offers of attractive discounts, free gift packaging and gift-delivery service.

Tinsel and baubles are the biggest sellers as they are cheap, vendors say. One shop assistant on Hai Ba Trung Street said not many people are buying artificial pine trees this year.

Ngoc Dung, a shop owner on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, said she was receiving more window-shoppers than buyers.

Shops selling Santa Claus outfits and hats are looking busy as parents buy these for their children.

Many supermarkets, including Co.opmart and Big C have placed pine trees, Santa Claus statues, Christmas costumes, balls and lights in prominent spaces and launched many promotion programmes to attract shoppers for the festive season.

Big C, for instance, is offering discounts of between 5-45 per cent on 3,000 products until December 25 under four promotion programmes.

Besides Christmas decorative items and gift baskets and clothes for both adults and children, special deals are offered on household appliances, cosmetics, dried and fresh food as well as electronic equipment.

It is also offering shoppers the chance to win many win valuable prizes, including gift vouchers, diamond jewellery set and a trip to Thailand for two people.

Similar promotions and discounts are being offered by the Co.opmart supermarket chain, Co.op Food chain, Co.opXtra Thu Duc, TV shopping channel HTV Co.op, Maximart, Citimart, Lottemart and Metro.

At Co.opmart chain, more than 1,000 products, including Christmas decorations, clothes and foodstuffs, are on discounts of up to 50 per cent. On December 22, Co.opmart will gift a Santa Claus hat for every bill worth at least VND500,000 ($23.8).

Since receiving gifts from Santa Claus is a thrill for all children, the service has continued to develop and expand every year. This year, parents can not only have Santa Claus personally deliver gifts, they can also have him tell stories. — VNS

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