As HCM City reopens, businesses realise flexible is the way to go

Sunday, Sep 26, 2021 08:02

Customers shop at Co.opmart Cu Chi supermarket in HCM CIty's Cu Chi District. Many businesses in HCM City’s ‘green zones’ that have been allowed to reopen since September 15 have adopted flexible models to meet the market’s new requirements. — Photo courtesy of Saigon Co.op

Many businesses in HCM City’s ‘green zones’ (safe zones) that have been allowed to reopen since September 15 have adopted flexible models to meet the market’s new requirements.

Tung Minh, owner of a store that sells imported fruits in District 7, said the first thing he did on reopening his store was to start investing in online infrastructure and building a network of potential online customers.

The store has started to receive orders via phone and website, he said.

It connects closely with loyal customers, and through them introduces and markets its products to their relatives, friends and neighbours, he said.

It also digitises product images, prices and origins to enable people to shop online, he added.

Thanh Tam, owner of a shop that sells processed and packaged foods in Cu Chi District, said he has switched to receiving orders by phone and customers could come to pick up their products or get delivery at home.

"By receiving orders by phone, the store can easily inform customers what products are available and unavailable. It is also convenient for customers to pay and ensure social distancing while shopping and other pandemic prevention measures."

Lien Huong, owner of a pho eatery on Dien Bien Phu Street in District 3, said customers sympathised with eateries for the difficulties they faced during social distancing, and did not make high quality demands, and so with the city gradually reopening safely, eateries must strive to ensure quality and service.

Saigon Co.op’s Co.opmart, Co.opXtra and Co.opmart stores in safe areas like districts 7, Can Gio and Cu Chi now serve customers after the city allowed people in such areas to shop at supermarkets.

Some also adopt the shopping-on-demand method, with customers picking up products at the supermarket gate.

Co.op Food convenience stores use buses to deliver purchases to ward-level response teams that do the shopping on behalf of residents.

This not only reduces the number of people and time required to buy the goods, but also minimises the risk of infection, addresses transport difficulties amid a shortage of delivery people and ensures food hygiene and safety.

Satramart - Saigon supermarket in District 10 has tied up with Be Group to sell 12 grocery combinations and also sells them on the G1 Mart app.

According to insiders, though allowed to reopen, many business households, especially those selling food and beverages, in green zones are still quite cautious, opening only in the morning and serving mainly those who have ordered in advance.

The city has been gradually reopening while still ensuring all safety criteria are met, according to its Department of Industry and Trade. — VNS

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