Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — As Vietnamese tend to spend more money during the Christmas season, many local enterprises have tried all possible ways to satisfy their “God’s” demands.
Alongside other popular Christmas gifts and ornaments, the Christmas market this year offers more exclusive and unique options.
Imported Christmas trees from the US
A HCM City-based enterprise has imported about 200 real pine trees by sea from Oregon, United States.
According to Diệp Nguyễn, the owner of the enterprise, the company decided to import such a large number of real trees after the first two attracted a great deal of attention from customers last Christmas.
“The import procedure is quite complicated, so we had to place our orders in August and received the support from the US National Christmas Tree Association,” she told Tuổi Trẻ daily.
Even before these Christmas trees docked at the port in HCM City, half of them were booked online with costs ranging from VNĐ3 million to VNĐ8 million (US$130 and $350), depending on the height of the tree (from 1.8 metres to 2.7 metres). The buyers are mostly foreign expatriates or wealthy local families.
While the real trees seem to be for a group of limited customers, the plastic ones – in different height, colours, and eye-catching decorations, are available in every supermarket and shopping mall across the city.
All the Christmas shops located on Lương Nhữ Học and Hải Thượng Lãn Ông streets in District 5 have started their high business season from mid-October.
Hồ Thị Minh Tâm, the owner of a shop on Lương Nhữ Học Street, District 5, said all 20 plastic trees and nearly 1,000 ball ornaments that she imported from Thailand for the first time had been sold out within a week.
According to Tâm, those products have attracted customers because their prices are the same or even slightly cheaper than other similar Made in Vietnam products.
Over the past two years, Christmas gifts and ornaments from Thailand have increased their presence in the Việt Nam market.
Hồ Kim Cúc, who runs a Christmas shop on Hải Thượng Lãn Ông Street, said her shop had rented 15 large-size Christmas trees out to different offices with prices ranging from VNĐ2 million to VNĐ4 million ($87 to $175), which are just one-third the purchase price.
The expansion of Vietnamese products
This year, the Christmas market is witnessing significant participation of many local producers.
According to a representative of the Kim Lập Christmas shop on Hải Thượng Lãn Ông Street, two thirds of the 6,000 products that his shop sold in the first 10 days of this month are products that are made in Việt Nam.
The increase in Vietnamese Christmas products is thanks to the increasing awareness of local enterprises of the potential market. That is why they have paid attention to improving both quality and design of products.
Owner of the Phương Thảo shop on Lương Nhữ Học Street, Nguyễn Phương Thảo, said her shop has stored 6,000 Christmas costumes that have been created by 10 local producers.
“With 20 different designs the price is 10 per cent to 20 per cent cheaper than other imported costumes. That is why the ones made by local producers have magnetised customers. At the moment, thousands of Christmas costumes that we stored are almost sold out,” she said.
Võ Hồng Tấn, director of Doma Vina – a company specialising on paper quilling products said his company has introduced to the market more than 2,000 products in this festive season, of which the best sellers are Santa Claus, X’Mas tree and bell.
Santa Claus service
Like any other previous years, the seasonal service – Santa Claus delivers gifts to children – is still a flourishing business, as the demand from customers has increased year after year.
Ngô Thị Phương Loan, owner of the Beyeume gift shop on 3 Tháng 2 Street in District 10, said that her shop had to recruit a ‘Santa Claus’ a month before Christmas.
According to her, the service fee this year has increased between 15 per cent and 20 per cent compared to last year, when it was between VNĐ90,000 and VNĐ100,000 to between VNĐ120,000 and VNĐ130,000.
“However, that price is for the service offered a few days before Christmas. A day before Christmas Eve, the price will definitely be more, at VNĐ160,000, and at VNĐ200,000 on Christmas eve,” Loan said.
Most of the recruited ‘Santa Claus’ are students.
Hoàng Tuấn, a student of the HCM City’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities, has also been a seasonal ‘Santa Claus’ for the past few years.
Even though he now has to prepare for the up-coming semester examination, he has registered to be a Santa Claus.
“The biggest challenge of this seasonal job is a traffic jam. Customers always want you to appear in front of their door in time with the gift for their children. And of course, I don’t want to annoy anyone during this festive days because of traffic problems. That is why I am a bit worried whenever I have to travel a long distance to deliver the gift door-to-door,” he said. — VNS