Consumer demand rises as Tet nears

By Tat Dat, Duc Minh, Thi Ha, Vien Thong   February 6, 2024 | 02:31 am PT
Consumer demand rises as Tet nears
Customers shop at AEON Mall Ha Dong in Hanoi on Feb. 3, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Demand for consumer goods has risen around 10% year-on-year, according to retailers, but buyers mostly prioritize essential and affordable items.

The cashiers at Co.opXtra supermarket in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, were working at full capacity at 9 p.m. on the weekends, with customers having to wait 20 minutes for their turn.

Crowds were also seen at Lotte, WinMart, Big C and AEON retail outlets in other major cities as people rush to make their final purchases ahead of Tet, the Lunar New Year, which begins Saturday.

Saigon Co.op and AEON both estimated that demand has risen by 10% year-on-year with sales rising weekly, with the former expecting an increase of 20-30% year-on-year after the holiday.

WinCommerce, which operates Vietnam’s biggest retail chain WinMart, said that the number of customers has now surpassed a normal day and is expected to rise as the holiday approaches.

Vietnam’s seven-day Tet holiday begins Thursday.

Kingfoodmart, which operates 50 outlets in HCMC, said that it has increased its supply by 150% from a normal day.

Vietnam’s economy expanded by 5.05% last year, lower than the target by one percentage point due to global difficulties.

This has caused people to start making holiday purchases around two or three weeks later than usual, retailers said.

Lien Nguyen, a representative of Thu Duong, which distributes 10 brands of food in HCMC, said that consumers only start to shop for Tet in the last 10 days, and sales are now 30-40% higher than a normal day.

Quynh, an office worker in Hanoi, said that she only waited to start shopping on Sunday after receiving her annual bonus.

"There are more discounts now, and they are worth the long queuing time at the checkout," she said.

But most customers are prioritizing affordable products to cut expenses.

"The most popular gift basket option was at VND700,000 ($28.73) last year, but this year it is the VND400,000," said Nguyen Thi Bich Van, communications director of Central Retail.

AEON said buyers prioritize spending on the day of discounts to get more for their money after a year of economic challenges.

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