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Stockpiling in HCMC continues despite supply assurance

By Thi Ha, Tat Dat   July 8, 2021 | 01:28 am PT
Stockpiling in HCMC continues despite supply assurance
People shop at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City on July 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.
People in HCMC continue to stockpile consumer goods ahead of the social distancing period despite official assurance of supply.

Hoa in Go Vap District came to VinMart on Pham Van Chieu Road at 8 a.m. Thursday but only managed to buy a cabbage and a few bitter melons.

"There was almost nothing left in the meat and vegetable sections."

At MM Mega Market and Big C, supplies have increased as many people stockpiled products.

Hanh of Thu Duc City said she prioritized buying vegetables due to fear of them running out.

"I can see employees working non-stop to replenish stock."

Stockpiling was also seen at traditional markets and grocery stores. Hoa, a meat seller in Go Vap District, said she had doubled her supply to 150 kilograms Thursday but everything was sold within the first hour of opening.

"People buy about four to six kilograms each instead of a few hundreds of grams like on an average day."

A vegetable vendor next to her sold all her stock by 7 a.m. even though she had tripled the volume.

Online apps operated by VinMart, Lottemart, Co.opmart and Big C all suffered issues due to large orders. Buyers either cannot place orders due to items being sold out or cannot access the app altogether.

Most chains say they have increased stock to prepare for large demand.

A spokesperson of VinCommerce, which operates VinMart outlets, said the chain had tripled its supply from a normal day, but empty shelves were still seen due to surging demand.

Big C also tripled its supply. It plans to increase meat volumes by seven times to 70 tonnes a day. FMCG goods is set to increase by 30 percent from a normal day.

"Residents should not worry and stockpile since it would intensify the situation," said Nguyen Thi Bich Van, head of communications of Central Retail in Vietnam, which operates Big C.

Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, deputy head of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said grocery outlets would continue to operate during the social distancing period and there is no need for stockpiling.

"Trucks are bringing goods to the city and people will see shelves filled with goods in upcoming days."

Although the three wholesale markets in HCMC have been closed, around 900 tonnes of goods are still delivered each day to surrounding storage facilities.

It is estimated around 1,200 tonnes of goods each day are being transported directly to customers instead of through these markets.

Ho Chi Minh City has over 110 markets operating along with 106 supermarkets, over 2,400 minimarts and 28,700 convenience stores.

The city will commence a 15-day social distancing period starting Friday as nearly 8,600 local cases have been confirmed here since April 27.

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