Stores in Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street and Binh Tay Market where decorative products for Tet holidays are sold have started to see more and more customers. Ms Doanh, a shop owner, said that this year the prices of decorative products did not increase compared to previous year. Besides domestically-made decorative products, in the past two years, many stores have ordered Vietnamese antithetical couplets and scrolls from abroad to diversify their products. Therefore, there is a difference in prices of domestically-made and foreign-made decorative products. For instance, a pair of domestically-made scrolls is sold at VND180,000 while a pair of foreign-made ones is sold at VND250,000. Similarly, the prices of other products are also around VND30,000-VND50,000 higher per item.
At supermarkets, including Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Mega Markeyt and BigC, there is a sudden increase in the number of customers as well as demand for sugar-preserved fruit, liquor, beer, soft drink and food. The number of bills with high value also takes the upper hand compared to normal days.
According to Mr Nguyen Anh Duc, deputy CEO of Saigon Co.op, purchasing power increased sooner than it did in the past five years. In previous years, the market only became bustling after December 23rd of the lunar calendar – the Kitchen God day; however, this year, market has seen more positive signs. By January 18 (or December 13 of the lunar calendar), Saigon Co.op has finished about 50 percent of its plan of Tet goods sales. Purchasing power is expected to continue to climb at weekends and likely to exceed its plan before Tet. From January 21, Saigon Co.op will add more specialties products of every region across the country to provide consumers with more options.
Speaking of supply capacity and prices, Mr Duc asserted that the prices will remain stable and there will not be a shortage in goods supply even for fresh food like pork, chicken and poultry eggs. In order deal with the situation that suppliers raise their prices, Saigon Co.op has made plan to seek for alternative suppliers to stabilize prices during Tet holidays.
Other businesses in the price stabilization program, including San Ha, Vinh Thanh Dat and Vissan also pledged to keep prices steady during Tet festive season. At the same time, they will increase stockpile by 20 percent to prevent prices from rising due to scarcity which possibly occurs in the next days.
At this time, most supermarkets have run promotional campaigns and offered discounts on thousands of products to boost consumption.
For instance, Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, BigC, Lotte Mart and VinMart also apply other promotion campaigns for customers besides offering a discount of up to 50 percent on several products. With each bill worth from VND300,000 to VND400,000 upwards, customers are able to buy products, such as instant noodles, fabric softener, beer, soft drink, soy sauce and fish sauce in the shock price discount program. As for VIP customers, they reward more points or sell some certain products at very low prices to increase priority for VIP customers when shopping at their places.
Besides supermarket, suppliers have also started to carry out promotional campaigns for their customers. For instance, in order to show its gratefulness and boost consumption, Vissan offers a discount of 5 to 30 percent on various processed food products. As for fresh food, Vissan also lowers prices by 10 percent from now to Tet. Poultry meat and egg suppliers also reduce prices by 5-20 percent, depending on each product, to encourage consumers to buy more.
According to the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC, Tet goods in the city’s market is provided by three main sources: businesses in the price stabilization program, accounting for 30-40 percent of market share; three wholesale markets, accounting for more than 50 percent of market share; and the rest from other businesses. In addition, in order to keep prices stable during Tet holidays, the Department of Finance of HCMC has fixed prices of essential goods in the price stabilization program for a month before Tet and a month after Tet, from January 5 to March 5. Goods in the price stabilization program includes rice, sugar, cooking oil, cattle meat, poultry meat, poultry eggs, processed food, vegetables, fruits, seafood and seasoning.