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HCMC supermarkets issue tickets to manage shoppers

By Thi Ha   July 15, 2021 | 02:15 am PT
HCMC supermarkets issue tickets to manage shoppers
A customer selects meat at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan.
HCMC supermarkets are giving customers tickets to schedule their shopping, seeking to reduce stockpiling as the city experiences its worst Covid-19 outbreak.

Starting Wednesday, Saigon Co.op began trialing shopping ticket issuance at certain outlets and would expand the mechanism to other crowded locations to mitigate queuing and congestion, a chain spokesperson said.

Tickets issued by a supermarket to organize shopping time. Photo by VnExpress/LInh Dan.

Tickets issued by a supermarket to organize shopping time. Photo by VnExpress/LInh Dan.

At 9.30 a.m. Thursday, lines are no longer seen outside of Co.opmart on Chu Van An Road in Binh Thanh District as on previous days.

Within the lobby, 30 customers were sitting and waiting their turn, while inside the shopping area about 20 customers were picking their goods. Each customer is allowed a maximum 40 minutes of shopping.

Meat, vegetables and fruit shelves were full, opposed to the previous days when they were empty even in the morning.

Customers can pick up their tickets at the supermarket and return at the specified time, said Bui Thi Giang Thu, director of the supermarket. If they are late, they might have to take another ticket and wait, she added.

Some other retail chains are also applying new regulations to keep shopping organized. Bach Hoa Xanh allows customers to shop for 10 minutes at most, while MM Mega Market lets only 30 customers in at a time.

Supermarkets and grocery stores across Ho Chi Minh City these days have been packed with long queues as people stockpile food in fear of a lockdown.

Authorities have repeatedly confirmed there would be enough supply for all. The city will set up 1,000 sales points to reach out to customers who cannot shop at supermarkets.

HCMC is in its sixth day of a 15-day social distancing campaign with over 19,400 local cases confirmed since April 27.

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