In the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year, called Tet in Vietnam, people frantically finish their holiday shopping, which of course provides a great sales boost for local businesses.
But then things begin to wind down. After the festive season is over, a period of post-holiday blues will hit many businesses across the country.
For Hai, a real estate broker in Hanoi, the pre-Tet weeks were the time he did everything to reach his sales target and end the lunar year on a strong note.
Now he's taking advantage of this slow period to take a break.
Other real estate brokerages also accept this post-holiday slump, allowing their employees to be in the celebratory mood a little longer.
“Most clients are dropping by our office these days just to finish the transactions left over from before the holiday,” said Hai, adding that he has no immediate plan to reach out to prospective clients this time of year.
For several banks and debt collection businesses, now is also not the peak time for business.
Vietnamese culture dictates that debts should be paid off before the Lunar New Year. Thus the weeks before Tet are the right time to collect debts as Vietnamese want to start their year with a clean financial slate.
“At the beginning of the year, we mainly handle paperwork and make plans for the following months,” said Tien, a debt collector, who is not even back to work until two weeks from now.
Some local retailers are also experiencing a drop in sales.
“Most people have already finished their shopping before Tet,” said the owner of a clothing boutique.