Customers shop at a supermaket in HCM City. Sales of goods used to celebrate the Lunar New Year have increased sharply in recent days. — Photo courtesy of Saigon Co.op
HCM CITY — With just a few days to go for Tết (Lunar New Year), sales of goods used to celebrate the holidays have increased sharply, according to retailers.
They are expected to peak three days ahead of Tết, they said.
A spokesperson for Saigon Co.op said since the end of last week sales of local fruits, nutritious foods such as edible bird’s nest, sugar-coated fruits, and sweets are up 20-70 per cent from normal periods.
Saigon Co.op’s retail chains have also reported an increase of 21-57 per cent in sales of household utensils such as bowls, plates, trays, pots, pans, buckets, knives, cutting boards, and clothing, and an increase of 9-15 per cent in sales of cattle and poultry meat, eggs and vegetables.
Aeon supermarkets nationwide have seen a sharp increase in the number of shoppers, with sales increasing by 20 per cent during weekends compared to a year ago.
Bùi Trung Chính, purchasing manager of Aeon Vietnam's foodline, said with the positive signs in the market, Aeon expects sales increase by 20 per cent this Tết.
Bách Hóa Xanh reported a 20-30 per cent rise in sales compared to normal days. The supermarket chain said it has stocked abundantly and prices are stable.
Lotte Mart and MM Mega Market supermarkets reported sharp increases in the number of shoppers in recent days.
At traditional markets and food stores in HCM City, demand for pork has shot up in recent days.
According to the Đồng Nai Livestock Association, the number of pigs shipped to the Hóc Môn wholesale market in HCM City currently is 5,000 a day, 1,000 more than earlier this month.
Higher demand for pork has pushed the price of pig on the hoof up by VNĐ10,000 a kilogram to VNĐ60,000, helping farmers to make a small profit, it said, adding that the supply of pigs is abundant.
Nguyễn Ngọc Thắng, director of Co.opmart's operation division, said consumers are shopping later this year than last for Tết.
Based on the co-operative’s forecast that people will soon start shopping for food products, Co.opmart and Co.opXtra supermarkets will offer discounts of 20-50 per cent on around 100 fresh and chilled food items, ready-to-cook foods, confectionery, sugar-coated fruits and sweets.
They will extend their opening hours from 7am to 10pm between January 25 and 27 and from 6am to 10pm between January 28 and 30.
On the last day of the lunar year which falls on January 31, they will work from 6am to 10am.
On January 25, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee Phan Thị Thắng and officials from the Department of Industry and Trade and other departments and agencies visited a number of producers and retailers in the city to check their preparations.
Thắng appreciated businesses for their early and good preparation, greater variety of products they have stocked compared to last year, and their promotion programmes.
“We hope businesses continue to look for goods sources that ensure both quality and affordable prices,” she said.
With the Lunar New Year fast approaching, year-end parties in HCM City and demand for gifts have doubled demand for expensive seafood products.
Trần Văn Trường, owner of Hoàng Gia high-end seafood chain, said expensive imported seafood like king crabs, lobsters, abalone, and red scallops is in great demand.
Their domestic counterparts such as Cà Mau Crab and snails, used as part of Tết gift hampers, are also popular, he said.
He has imported Caribbe lobsters for the first time, by air, and of the two tonnes, half has been booked by restaurants and hotels.
Trường said Caribbe lobsters are very large, weighing between 1.5 and four kilogrammes.
Since they cost around VNĐ2.6 million (US$113) per kilogrammes, a single lobster costs VNĐ4-10 million ($174-435).
Nguyễn Thúy Quỳnh Như, manager of The Alaska Guys Vietnam in District 7, said the store's Tết gifts focus on beautifully packaged salmon and cod fishes costing VNĐ2-4 million. – VNS