HCM City, firms make efforts to prop up floundering consumer product sales

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2021 10:16

Customers shop at a supermarket in HCM City. — Photo Tu Uyen

Demand for consumer goods in 2021 will not be higher than last year, with sales so far this year already 15-20 per cent year-on-year decrease, according to businesses.

Tet (Lunar New Year) sales last month only reached 70-80 per cent of their target, some major enterprises said.

Truong Chi Thien, director of Vinh Thanh Dat JSC, said his company still has a large inventory of poultry eggs it had hoped to sell during Tet.

So after Tet it had to look for other solutions such as processing them into other products and offering promotions like ‘buy 1 get 1’ to liquidate the stocks, he told Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.

During Tet Vissan’s revenues were lower than expected, but for the first time in many years sales of many essential goods fell significantly after the festival.

Phan Van Dung, deputy general director of the company, said though the Government has controlled the COVID-19 outbreak well, it has had a negative impact on consumer sentiment, causing demand to decline after Tet.

Assessing purchasing power in 2021, many enterprises expressed apprehension that this year would be more challenging than last.

It is likely that from now through the end of the third quarter demand would decrease by 15-20 per cent.

By the fourth quarter, if more people are vaccinated and international trade and tourism resume, then demand could pick up.

Nguyen Anh Dung, executive director for retail intelligence, Nielsen Vietnam, said the retail landscape has experienced drastic changes, especially the profile of consumers.

Customers would consider carefully before buying a product, and products that ensure food hygiene and safety, have a brand name and reputation, and, especially, have reasonable prices, would continue to do well, he said.

A Nielsen Vietnam survey found that consumers with a monthly income of less than VND6 million (US$259) have been forced to reduce spending due to the impacts of the pandemic.

Those with incomes of VND8-20 million have shifted from high-end to more affordable products, mainly food and beverages.

The high-income group has been spending more on consumer goods since it spends less on tourism due to the pandemic.

This year will also be the first in which HCM City will organise two focused promotional campaigns to attract domestic and foreign tourists to visit and shop in the city.

The departments of industry and trade and tourism are collaborating to set up shopping tours, enhance promotional programmes to stimulate demand at supermarkets and trade centres and help businesses open duty-free counters to serve tourists to gradually make the city a shopping destination in the country and wider region.

The trade department has also worked with business groups to mitigate difficulties faced by their members, and continues to help them get preferential loans through a programme that connects businesses with banks and the city’s investment stimulus programme. — VNS

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