|People walk around Hàng Mã street in Hà Nội shopping for Christmas decorations. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Phú|
HÀ NỘI — With just a few days to Christmas, decorations are being sold on the streets of Hà Nội, but fewer people seem to be buying this holiday season.
Streets specializing in selling Christmas decorations such as Hàng Mã, Lương Văn Can, Hàng Bồ, Chả Cá are full of merchandise shimmering and colorful with thousands of Christmas trees, tinsel, reindeers, lights, laurel wreaths, baubles, candy sticks and Santa's costumes.
The streets are crowded but those who buy are not many or they just purchase small and low cost products such as tinsel, pearls or small pine trees ranging from VNĐ5,000 to VNĐ20,000 (less than one US dollar).
Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa, owner of a souvenir shop on Hàng Mã Street, Hoàn Kiếm District said: “The streets have become busier and more vibrant than a few days ago. However, it is mainly tourists, not buyers,” adding that “the number of buyers has decreased by 30 – 50 per cent compared to most years. Due to the difficult economic situation, and closer gap between Christmas and local Tết, many people are limited in shopping for Christmas decorations.”
Phạm Văn Dũng, owner of a souvenir shop on Chả Cá street, said: “This year the price of decorative accessories is about 15 per cent higher than last year due to the higher shipping costs.”
Dũng said he thinks the difficult economic situation also makes many people save on shopping for decorations for this Christmas.
Besides decorative accessories, the market for fresh pine trees for the season can be very diverse as they are imported from different parts of the world such as Denmark, the Netherlands and China.
In terms of price, fresh Chinese pine branches range from VNĐ170,000 to VNĐ200,000. And fresh Dutch pine branches are sold between VNĐ250,000 - VNĐ 350,000 each. Fresh pine with five or six branches imported from Denmark or the Netherlands could cost from VNĐ1.8 million to VNĐ2.2 million.
Nguyễn Thị Hồng Phương, Director of Agricultural Import-Export Co., Ltd told Vietnam News Agency: “Fresh pine trees are priced from VNĐ1.4 million to VNĐ7.9 million depending on the size.”
Phương said fresh pine trees with a height of over 6m cost up to nearly VNĐ150 million, adding fresh pine trees have glossy green colour, beautiful shape, durability from six to eight weeks, a pleasant aroma and bring a warm atmosphere to the Christmas season, so many consumers choose them.
During this year's Christmas season, eco-friendly decorations made from fresh pine leaves have received special attention from customers. Laurel wreaths, mini pine trees or large full-sized pine pots are the most sought items.
Nguyễn Ngọc Bích, director of Nam Bình Import-Export and Trading Co, said that she bought a real Christmas tree for VNĐ15 million to welcome Christmas and New Year. Although the price was a bit high, the real pine tree has a wide canopy, bright green colour, and a natural scent, so it creates a very pleasant feeling of warmth.
Besides the traditional market, decorative accessories and Christmas gifts are also being sold on e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Sendo, and Shopee or social networking sites such as Facebook and Zalo, where the products are also abundant, with prices cheaper by about 20 per cent. — VNS