|Customers shop at Co.opmart in Hue City. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Viet
HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade has instructed producers and distributors of many key goods to ensure that the supply from now until mid-February be at least 40 percent higher than in the same period last year to ensure there are no shortages during Tet (the Lunar New Year).
Until the New Year on February 8, the department and other agencies will regularly carry out checks to ensure there are enough stocks and of good quality and prices are steady.
According to a report from the department, the goods in stock during the period before will be worth VND16.2 trillion (US$736 million), of which goods worth VND6.9 trillion will be stocked as part of a city programme to keep prices steady. Most of the latter is comprised of food and other essential goods like cooking oil, sugar, and livestock.
Enterprises have reported to the department that inventories on hand account for 90 percent of the city's target for the period.
Nguyen Quoc Chien of the Department of Finance assured that because of careful preparations and abundant supply there would not be any scarcity or price hikes during the holidays.
Le Ngoc Dao, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said producer should nevertheless keep a close eye on demand to cope with emerging situations.
Any violations detected by inspectors with regard to quality or price, whether at traditional markets or supermarkets, would be severely penalized, she warned.
Though they expect demand to shoot up by 15 per cent in the run-up to and during the New Year, supermarkets in HCM City are set to offer promotions and keep prices low.
Le Thi Thanh Lam, general director of Sai Gon Food Trading Company, said though she knows food demand would increase by 70 percent during Tet, competition would be intense with many convenient shops opening around the city. This would be on top of the fierce competition between retailers as well as producers, meaning prices would not increase during Tet, she said.
Nguyen Hoang Anh, marketing director of Saigon Co.op – owner of CoopMart — the supermarket will not hike prices from now until Tet because of the harsh competition in the retail market.
Due to the competition and also pressure to achieve revenue targets during Tet, many companies are set to launch sales promotions.
The promotions will focus on essential goods for Tet.
Lotte Mart, for instance, will reduce the prices of sausages and Vietnamese ham by 15-30 percent.
Metro has co-ordinated with its 300 suppliers to reduce prices of 2,000 essential goods by 49 percent.
Big C will reduce prices of more than 1,000 products by up to 50 percent.
Several food companies that directly retail their products have also launched sale promotions.
Lam said Sai Gon Food has earmarked VND2 billion for its promotions. — VNS