The past few months has witnessed a gloomy atmosphere descend on Japanese and Korean streets in Ho Chi Minh City due to a huge shortage of customers, with many business outlets ceasing operations.
Le Thanh Ton street in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for attracting many Japanese customers, leading to the location being dubbed “Japanese street”.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a sharp decrease in the number of foreign guests, causing the majority of activities on the street to come to a standstill.
With very few foreigners visiting bars, business owners have struggled to pay the rent or looked for new tenants.
Many shops have been forced to close, leaving owners in distress. A number of local property owners have tried to find new tenants who they can rent to.
Although local landlords have reduced the rent by 10%, many businesses still can’t afford the costs for the time being.
Dong Ho, a property owner on Le Thanh Ton street, explains that local enterprises are unable to pay the rent because they receive so few customers during the day. “I have been unable to find a new renter for months,” he cries out.
The dining, beauty, and bar services on offer on the street are mainly aimed at Japanese nationals living locally. However, the last three months since the end of the social distancing order has seen staff outnumber customers at establishments throughout the area.
Before the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the street had been packed with guests all day and night .
Van Trung, a local restaurant owner, says he has been running the restaurant for six years, but never before has his business come to a standstill like at present.
Many restaurants struggling to survive the crisis rely on investments from Japan, Trung says.
A bar owner shares that his business has seen no profits for the past two months.
A Korean street located in Phu My Hung urban area of District 7 in Ho Chi Minh City is no exception. The past six months has witnessed plenty of local outlets halt operations due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Many properties along the street have advertisements offering them out to rent.
A local coffee shop has been closed for days.
The majority of local properties have dropped their rental price.
A Korean-style restaurant has no customers during peak hours.
Although property owners have moved to decrease rental prices, they are still struggling to find new tenants.