|HCM City is considering mobile sales of essential goods amid the COVID lockdowns to ensure people everywhere get access to them. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade plans an itinerant sales programme that will sell goods around the city since many traditional markets, supermarkets and food stores are closed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Thương, sourcing department manager at Bách Hóa Xanh retail chains, said people's food needs are at more than 200% compared to the time of no epidemic. To meet the demand, her chain has increased its inventories in the city by 180 per cent, with a focus on pork, vegetables, tubers, and fruits.
"We can further increase stocks if needed and offer online shopping and home delivery. We will meet demand.”
Phan Văn Dũng, deputy general director of Vissan, said his company would increase the supply of fresh pork to make up for the shortfall caused by the closure of Hóc Môn Wholesale Market.
Vissan now sells 120-150 tonnes per day, 30 tonnes more than in June and 70-80 tonnes higher than in the pre-COVID period.
Nineteen cases were detected at the Hóc Môn Wholesale Market and more were contact traced in other places, forcing the district People’s Committee to close it.
Hóc Môn used to be one of the city’s three largest wholesale markets, distributing 3,500-4,000 tonnes of pork, 2,000 tonnes of vegetables and 1,000 tonnes of fruits every day.
But Thương pointed out that the fact many Bách Hóa Xanh stores have to be temporarily closed means customers have less access to food.
Bách Hóa Xanh, Saigon Food Company and Ba Huân Company are therefore urging the government to consider mobile sales in areas that have been closed down and at the sites of temporary traditional markets that have been closed.
Dũng said Vissan has the equipment and vehicles to go to five to 10 locations a day, but pointed out that local authorities need to identify the locations to mitigate the threat of Covid prevention.
Saigon Food Company and Ba Huân Company also said they are willing to sell at industrial parks and residential areas that are locked down if local authorities provide support.
Of the 234 traditional markets in the city, 93 have been closed on safety grounds. — VNS