HCMC strives to boost purchasing power of consumers

The damaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in big losses in retail revenue in Ho Chi Minh City; therefore, the city has been striving to improve domestic purchasing power- one of significant solutions amid stagnant exports.

HCMC strives to boost purchasing power of consumers (Photo: SGGP)

HCMC strives to boost purchasing power of consumers (Photo: SGGP)

The city will bolster program “Vietnamese use Vietnamese-made goods” to increase domestic purchasing power and and create connection between enterprises – enterprises and enterprises- localities.
According to the city’s Statistical Office in HCMC, after the city implemented the government’s direction No.16 on social distancing to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic in April, retail sales of trade and services in the city declined drastically because of restrictions on social activities.
Most notably, there has been a shift in the consumption structure that people have rushed to stock up on essentials items such as rice, foodstuff and packaged food. Consequently, retailers of non-essential commodities had no revenue in the last month.
The Office said that there had no substantial change in revenues of the city’s commercial and service sectors in comparison to previous years though holidays fell in April. Retail sales of commodities and service last month totaled VND68,457 billion, a fall of 22.8 percent compared to March and 34.2 percent compared to the same period last year. Tourism industry saw big loss due to Covid-19 impact.
The retail sector has also been hit hard. Retail sale in April was roughly VND56 billion, a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to March and a year-on-year dip of 4.8 percent. Most commercial centers saw few shoppers since February and they froze in April.
The pandemic has left a direct impact on not only non-essential businesses but also on restaurants and accommodation. The Office's figure has shown accommodation and catering services declined by 47.7 percent and 85.8 percent in April compared to the previous month and the same period last year respectively just achieving VND1.3 trillion.
Presently, only foreign visitors who are waiting for their flights and foreign patients are hiring hotels. Revenue from other consumer services was estimated at VND11,112 billion (US$478 million) falling by 56.4 percent and 66.7 percent compared to March and the same period last year respectively.
Generally, in the first four months of the year, revenues of retail and service in HCMC roughly totaled VND387,568 billion, a year-on-year drop of 11.2 percent.
However, cashless payment in e-commerce is a good point. Commercial centers, supermarkets, catering services have launched promotion programs in their portals to  improve their earnings.
Market research companies announced that e-commerce firms such as Tiki have seen fast development with 4,000 customer orders per minute for products in this group. SpeedL and Saigon Co.op were similar.
As per Saigon Co.op’s figure, online order and shopping by phone have helped the supermarket chain’s revenue in holidays surge by 30 percent compared to the time before the city applied social distancing regulations .
Nevertheless, increase in online shopping also focused on basically essential commodities. Marketing Saigon Co.op Director Do Quoc Huy said that to stimulate consumption for production growth, Saigon Co.op has been implementing synchronous solutions. In the upcoming time, it will launch a promotion program for students and later it will discuss with suppliers to reduce prices of essential goods to clear its stock.
Moreover, Saigon Co.op will re-design its portal to facilitate online shoppers – a way to support retailers to increase sales while the pandemic is still complicatedly developing in many countries in the world.
Chairwoman of the city’s Food and Foodstuff Association Ly Kim Chi expected city authorities to support enterprises to improve domestic purchasing power of goods especially food and foodstuff products because they are locally-made.

By Uyen Chi - Translated by Dan Thuy

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