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Hanoi retailers told to increase stocks threefold amid pandemic

Retailers in Hanoi were told to increase stocks of essential goods by three-fold over average levels to ensure price stability amid the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers at AEON Vietnam’s Ha Dong branch. — VNA/VNS Do Phuong Anh

That request was made by Deputy Director of Hanoi’s Industry and Trade Department Tran Thi Phuong Lan in a meeting with some retailers in the capital city on Monday.

At the meeting, director of AEON Vietnam’s Ha Dong branch Do Ngoc Khanh Chi said that stocks in the AEON supermarket chain had jumped 1.5-2 times across different types of goods, of which rice and instant noodles were kept in higher amounts while other products such as eggs and meat were negotiated between the supermarket and suppliers in case of a sudden increase in demand.

“These statistics have been built upon sales from the same period last year. In case demand surges, AEON will re-adjust its stocks to ensure goods for customers,” Chi said.

AEON Vietnam also reported a decrease of 30-35 per cent in the number of visitors to the supermarkets and sales remain largely unchanged, despite the fact that Hanoi has recorded new COVID-19 cases.

This was explained because consumers have switched to online shopping and chose to shop near their homes to avoid crowded places. This also proved that people are no longer afraid of shortages and are now more experienced in response to the pandemic, according to the supermarket chain.

According to statistics by some enterprises, online purchases increased by about 40 per cent in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan highly appreciated firms’ implementation of the city and department’s guidelines in the preparation of essential goods in efforts to combat the pandemic.

She said August 10-16 was predicted to be the peak period of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore stocks must be maintained three times higher than usual.

This request would be valid for three months until October for the list of 17 essential goods.

Due to the pandemic, all fairs and exhibitions, as well as weekly product programmes, are not allowed to take place. The People's Committee of Hanoi directed the Industry and Trade Department to ensure enough goods and supply-demand connection.

The trade authority also expects each retailer to arrange points of sale for provinces to display their goods and agricultural products.  VNS

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