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Retailers despair as discounts fail to attract more customers

Update: February, 10/2015 - 09:35
A fashion store in HCM City's Tan Binh District offers various promotions to attract customers. Lots of stores and supermarkets hang banners with discounted rates, but they don't seem to draw in more people. — VNA/VNS Trang Duong
HA NOI (VNS)  — Consumers do not seem to be excited about the numerous promotional schemes offered by stores and supermarkets in major cities, in view of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Along busy shopping streets in Ha Noi and HCM City, eye-catching banners with discount rates of up to 50 to 70 per cent or buy one get one free, have been hung, especially by fashion stores and electronics supermarkets.

Their aim is to attract buyers, stimulate purchasing demand and clear stocks. However, the results have not been as good as expected.

Several shop owners said their sales were still very slow.

Nguyen Mai Ngoc, the owner of a clothing store in Ha Noi, said her store's revenue had not been very good last year, which she said "was much lower than previous years."

She had even announced a discount of 50 per cent on all items to boost sales and recover capital ahead of Tet, but sales were still not very good. "There were days when my store was very crowded, but many shoppers were just window shopping."

Several electronic shop-owners said purchasing power was low last year, forcing them to offer promotions to boost sales during the weeks approaching Tet. However, customers were being even more cautious with their spending this year.

Le Viet Hong, a consumer, said she is not as interested in discounted products as in previous years, partly due to the quality of the products, and because she had bought discounted products several times already.

A representative from the Viet Nam Standard and Consumer Protection Association said consumers must check the quality of discounted products carefully before buying.

Another consumer said her bonus for Tet was not as high as previous years and that she needed to spend even lesser this Tet holiday, even when it came to buying discounted products.

While many shop-owners are worried about their sales for the forthcoming Tet holiday, the Government's data showed that consumer demand is up.

The total retail sales and service value touched more than VND275.4 trillion (US$13 billion) in January, representing a 13 per cent year-on-year rise.

Economic expert Nguyen Minh Phong said the extraordinary fall in the consumer price index (CPI) in January was not due to the drop in aggregated demand, but could be mainly attributed to plunging oil prices. — VNS

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