HCM City retailers seek to stimulate Tet demand hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: sggp.org.vn)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) – Retailers in HCM City are focusing on stimulating demand for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday in February and ensuring that supply is adequate and food safety standards are met.

Saigon Co.op’s multiple retail chains have begun Tet sales so that customers can buy most items now and only have to buy fresh produce close to Tet.

Nguyen Vu Toan, deputy general director of Saigon Co.op, said they have stockpiled nearly 4.9 trillion VND (212.3 million USD) worth of goods for Tet, a 20 percent increase from last year. The co-operative would increase quality inspections of its supermarkets by 10 times over normal months, he added.

Forty per cent of goods are in the price stabilisation programme, like rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat, egg, processed foodstuff, seafood, and fruits and vegetables.

Saigon Trading Group (Satra) is sourcing over 2.4 tonnes of items like rice, processed foodstuff and pork to supply during Tet, a 63 percent increase over usual months.

Nguyen Phuc Khoa, its deputy general director, said the company pays great attention to food safety and goods’ origins.

Pork prices have stabilised due to the country’s efforts to repopulate pig herds and import of frozen pork, and Satra and its subsidiaries would supply a large number of new products such as seasoned meat and spring rolls to satisfy demand during Tet, he said.

Its stores would remain open for three to four hours longer than usual before Tet, starting on February 1 next year, he said.

But many businesses are worried about low demand this year, and sales of Tet gift packs so far have not given cause for optimism.

Businesses plan to launch promotions for essential goods to stimulate demand, and work with partners such as Grab and Baemin to boost online sales and expand distribution.

They will also offer home delivery and ancestral offering packs, which are traditionally prepared by families during Tet. Sales trips will be undertaken in remote areas to enlarge sales.

Trieu Do Hong Phuoc, head of the HCM City People’s Council's Committee for Economy and Budget, said regardless of demand during Tet, businesses need to ensure sufficient supply and food safety, shopping areas and delivery procedures./.