Supermarkets, shopping malls, and even traditional markets in Ho Chi Minh City have launched a slew of promotions to stimulate consumption, but to little effect.

"I am really surprised when I go shopping," Pham Thu Trang of District 7 said.

"Most fashion stores in malls such as Crescent and Parkson in District 7 and Vincom in District 1 offer discounts."

Food and foodstuffs at supermarkets have seen prices cut by up to 50 percent.

Traders said promotions have doubled this year, but fail to attract customers as hoped.

Phan Bich Thuy, a shop owner in District 3, said usually demand is high from June to August, but not this year.

Despite doubling her promotions and cutting down on production, her inventory is higher than normal, she said.

Nguyen My Hanh, owner of a fashion shop on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street , said despite cutting prices by up to 80 percent, business is not good.

The items she sells cost only 50,000-100,000 VND (2.5-5 USD), but she sells only four in a typical morning, she lamented.

An employee of a famous supermarket in Tan Phu District said current promotions are more attractive than ever, but most customers only buy essential things like food and foodstuff.

Electronics supermarkets also have many sales programmes.

A store in District 1 has cut the prices of 90 percent of all products, but only manages to sell television sets, a salesperson said.

Many are reconciled to losing on these programmes.

Van Duc Muoi, director of food company Vissan Limited Company, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, said his company loses on some fresh foods. It has offered discounts twice this year but been unable to boost sales significantly.-VNA