Supermarkets packed as HCMC residents flock to stock

By Thi Ha, Tan Dat   July 7, 2021 | 03:05 am PT
Supermarkets packed as HCMC residents flock to stock
Customers queue up to check out at a supermarket in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City on July 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
HCMC supermarkets were packed Wednesday as citizens rushed to stockpile goods after wholesale markets were closed and many items were sold out on online platforms.

After the Thu Duc wholesale market closed Tuesday (the other two wholesale markets had closed earlier), residents queued up Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning to purchase a large supply of food amid social distancing orders.

At around 8:30 a.m. hundreds of customers were seen at the Hanoi Intersection Co.op Mart branch in Thu Duc City.

"Although there are high chances of contagion in a tightly packed supermarket, it is a risk I need to take. Otherwise I won’t be able to buy food as traditional and wholesale markets have all closed," said Phuong, a customer.

At the Co.op mart Xtra Pham Van Dong in Binh Chanh District, the vegetable shelves were almost empty.

Other supermarket chains like Big C, Bach Hoa Xanh and Lottemart recorded the number of customers doubling or tripling, especially in the vegetables section.

Hanh, a Thu Duc City resident, said most items on online sales platforms of VinMart, Co.opmart and Big C were sold out.

"I had to wait an hour to get inside the supermarket," she said.

Thao in District 2 said goods she had ordered Tuesday morning had not yet been delivered. Other users also reported items sold out on websites of poplar retailers.

Supermarket representatives said that the number of online orders had doubled and even gone up to 10 times the normal, causing overloads.

"The delay in deliveries has happened as demand shot up and overburdened the staff," said MM Mega representative, adding that people should calm down and stop stockpiling.

Municipal authorities have assured that there is no shortage of food and consumer products even though the city is going through an outbreak.

"People should not worry because goods are being distributed through many channels and will always meet demand," said Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, deputy head of the city’s industry and trade department.

As many as 125 of more than 234 traditional markets in HCMC have been shut down amidst the pandemic, including its three largest wholesale markets.

HCMC is now the nation’s Covid-19 epicenter with over 8,000 cases in the latest wave.

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