Businesses pitch in to ease financial pressure on consumers amid COVID-19 hinh anh 1Customers at a supermarket in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Many members of the Food and Foodstuff Association of Ho Chi Minh City have promised not to increase the prices of goods, especially essential goods, to share consumers’ difficulties amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ly Kim Chi, its chairwoman, said since it broke out at the beginning of the year in many countries, the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and also had an impact on domestic production.

To sustain raw material supply, many businesses have turned to other markets such as the Republic of Korea, Japan and Europe.

The supply of materials in these markets is plentiful and reliable, but prices are much higher.

Yet, most members of the FFA are trying to keep prices at the same levels as before the epidemic, even coordinating with distribution and retail systems to reduce prices, especially of essential items, she added.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhien of HCM City’s Phu Nhuan district said she recently bought some essential items like cooking oil, shower gel, shampoo, and pork at the Co.opmart supermarket on Nguyen Kiem Street, and their prices were 10,000 - 50,000 VND (0.4-2.2 USD) lower than at traditional markets.

Nguyen Anh Duc, general director of Saigon Co.op, said its retail chains like Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food and Co.op Smiles are offering attractive promotions on essential goods for 21 days from August 20 under its “Proud of Vietnamese Goods 2020” programme to ease consumers’ financial burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prices of many products like milk, meat, fish, fish sauce, fragrant rice, and more than 20 kinds of farm produce are discounted.

From August 25 Co-opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.opmart SCA and Fine Life supermarkets nation-wide will gift customers who have Saigon Co membership cards anti-bacterial cloth masks.

The most practical way for a retailer to contribute to the fight against the pandemic is to ensure sufficient stocks of essential goods for the next several months and have plans in place to ensure regular supply of these products at the lowest possible prices to prevent a scarcity of goods and keep prices steady, Duc said.

A representative of Big C & GO! said the supermarket has been supplying sufficient goods at steady prices, and has worked with delivery service providers to serve customers who order via its hotline, 19001880.

Retailers are transporting goods to various localities, especially Da Nang, Quang Nam and Hue, and adopting measures to ensure social distancing at its stores in Da Nang.

Modern distribution channels are supplying large volumes of medical masks, anti-bacterial cloth masks and hand sanitisers.

Retailers are also offering promotions on essential goods.

The Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk) and its Stand Tall Vietnam Milk Fund have provided 1.7 million glasses of milk to nearly 19,000 disadvantaged children across the nation to help improve their resistance against COVID-19./.