Consumers cut spending ahead of Tet

By Thi Ha   January 16, 2024 | 03:28 pm PT
Consumers cut spending ahead of Tet
Customers shop in a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Consumers are starting 2024 cautiously after a year of economic challenges even though the holiday season is approaching and businesses are trying hard to cope.

Thanh Huyen, who works as a marketing officer in Hanoi, does not plan to buy new clothes or spend on a hairstyle makeover this year for Lunar New Year (Tet), since her property brokerage has announced there will be no 13th month salary or bonus unlike in previous years.

"I am waiting for discounts to make e-commerce purchases ahead of Tet. Cutting expenses is important now."

Son, the owner of a small and struggling tourism company in Hanoi, will not spend on decorating the company with a peach tree this year because of a cash shortage.

"We will also cut spending on gifts for the holidays."

A survey of internet users in November by popular web browser Coc Coc found 46% and 43% saying they would spend less in the next 12 months on out-of-home entertainment and eating out.

Another survey by market research company Kantar Vietnam found 28% of households had financial trouble last year, up 7 percentage points from the post-Covid period.

Flower farmer Thuan in Hanoi outskirt has cut down on production this year and has planted on only two sections of his farm instead of the usual six since he expects a drop in demand.

Vietnamese usually buy flowers before Tet, which falls in early February this year.

"I only hope for a small profit this year."

In the central Khanh Hoa Province, known for growing flowers, output of a popular flower has been reduced by 11% to 40,000 pots.

In the food and beverage industry, a third of all companies have seen a decline in revenues since 2022, according to research firm Vietnam Report.

Nearly 42% also saw profits decline, it added.

Businesses are doing all they can to survive.

The owner of a western food restaurant in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District last week moved to a new and smaller location for half the old rent.

Retailers such as MM Market, Saigon Co.op and Aeon and e-commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada are also offering big discounts in the hope of attracting customers.

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