HCM City’s retail firms adapt to COVID-19, go online hinh anh 1A shopper scans QR codes to shop online at lazada online shopping platform (Photo: baodautu.vn)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Retailers in Ho Chi Minh City have quickly adapted to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by resorting to e-commerce and delivery services.

In the first eight months of the year, only retail grew among all the service sectors.

A report by the city’s Department of Industry and Trade said retail revenues topped 503 trillion VND (21.78 billion USD), an 8.3 percent increase year-on-year.

Direct shopping revenues fell, but online sales saved many businesses.

Vo Thi Phuong Mai, deputy director and head of retail services at CBRE Vietnam, said the pandemic had generally impacted direct visitor traffic but created opportunities for small and medium-sized models such as convenience stores and pharmacies and, especially, e-commerce.

"E-commerce is a bright spot that has supported physical stores during the pandemic," she said.

Saigon Co.op, a traditional retail giant established in 1996, has moved towards multi-channel sales in recent years.

Do Quoc Huy, Saigon Co.op’ s marketing director, said with experience gained during the worst days of COVID-19 its retail systems had a clear roadmap for stockpiling and measures to cope with new developments.

Saigon Co.op’s human resources and transportation plans had been carefully mapped out to cope with any eventualities, he said.

Besides, 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 a programme called Proud of Vietnamese Goods 2020.

It offers discounts on many products like milk, meat, fish, fish sauce, fragrant rice, and more than 20 other kinds of farm produce.

The department forecast the retail sector to grow by around 10 percent this year.

Many manufacturers also offer various promotions to stimulate demand, including leading food company Vissan.

In addition to promotions at attractive prices at its stores and supermarkets, Vissan said it was committed to providing consumers with meat products meeting VietGAP standards./.