|A shop selling vegetables that has been set up in HCM City. The city is setting up around 1,000 of those locations to distribute essential goods as supermarkets struggle to cope amid the lockdown. – Photo sggp.org.vn|
HCM CITY – Around 1,000 outlets will be set up around HCM City to sell groceries since supermarkets are struggling to meet the burgeoning demand amid the COVID-19 shutdown, its Department of Industry and Trade said.
Bùi Tá Hoàng Vũ, director of the department, told a meeting held to review a week of implementing Directive 16 that supply of food and foodstuffs has become difficult since the city’s three wholesale markets closed down.
The volume transported to the city is down by half to 2,200 – 2,700 tonnes a day.
Since many traditional markets are closed, people are queuing up at supermarkets to buy essential goods, putting a strain on their capacity.
People have been finding it very difficult to buy groceries despite supermarkets’ claim that supply is sufficient, especially since many are stocking up fearing the worst.
The department has been urging retailers and supermarket chains to increase their stocks by up to three times.
Businesses partaking in the city’s regular market stabilisation programme are also increasing their supply.
Since July 11 the department has also been working with logistics and other businesses to increase food supply, but the city is still unable to meet daily demand.
Supermarket chains in the city have topped out and have no more storage space, according to the department.
It is working with businesses, postal companies, delivery services and logistics businesses to set up the 1,000 distribution points.
Even businesses such as baby products retailer Con Cưng and beauty products supplier Guardian are selling vegetables at their stores.
E-commerce platforms such as Tiki, Lazada and Sendo have also agreed to supply vegetables using their own warehouses.
The department is also working with Thủ Đức City and Hóc Môn District to set up transhipment stations at wholesale markets to increase supply of essential goods.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the city should consider setting up sales outlets on streets.
HCM City has become the COVID epicentre of the country with more than 22,000 cases so far since the fourth and latest outbreak in April.
It has mandated social distancing since May 31. – VNS