Beer sales have dropped between 25 and 30 per cent in supermarkets. — Photo thuonghieu
HÀ NỘI — Beer is often a best seller during Tết but many retailers have been forced to lower their prices to encourage customers to buy.
Sales of beer have dropped dramatically after the Government's announced a crackdown on drink drivers.
Nguyễn Văn Định, owner of a shop selling imported wine and beer in Hàng Hương Alley, Hoàn Kiếm District in Hà Nội told Việt Nam News: “This time last year, I did not have enough beer to sell. This year, I just sit here waiting for orders.”
To encourage customers, Định knocks off VNĐ15,000 for every 24 pack of Saigon Special, offering at VNĐ285,000.
But despite reducing the prices, Định has not seen as many customers as he hoped. He estimates a 70 per cent drop compared to previous holiday seasons.
He says: “Last Tết, I sold more than VNĐ1billion worth of beer and wine. This year, I estimate to get about VNĐ300 million maximum.”
Other retailers in the busy streets of Tô Hiệu, Hoàng Hoa Thám and Thái Hà experienced the same issues and have reduced the prices of some cases of beer by up to VNĐ15,000.
Nguyễn Thị Nga, a shop owner in Hoàng Hoa Thám Street said: “Instead, many consumers buy imported, light alcohol and local apricot wine.”
As an e-buyer on the site bachhoaxanh.com, Hoàng Tuyết Loan from Gò Vấp District, HCM City even buys cases of Saigon Special for just VNĐ239,000 - an 80 per cent drop on normal prices.
Loan tells Việt Nam News: “Less people buy beer. So they must reduce the prices.”
Since January, 1, any caught driving under the influence of alcohol on a motorbike can be fined VNĐ8 million ($345) and banned for two years.
Car and truck drivers face VNĐ40 million fines and immediate licence suspension.
As of January 17, traffic police have stopped 6,279 drink drivers and collected more than VNĐ21 billion in fines.
None of the biggest brewers like Sabeco, Habeco, Heineken and Carlsberg have commented on the new law, but many supermarkets have said sales dropped between 25 and 30 per cent.
According to the Việt Nam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association, Vietnamese people consumed 4.6 billion litres of beer last year, a 10 per cent growth from 2018.— VNS