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Hanoi’s plan to develop modern markets fails completely   2012-05-19 - Tien phong

Hundreds of stalls at the Hang Da Trade Center have been left idle. The merchants here have given up business because of too few buyers. The food and vegetable stalls at Cua Nam Market have also been quiet.

Modern markets cannot attract merchants

Hanoian housewives go buying food and essential items for their families early in the morning, at 6-7 am. However, at the peak hours, the merchants at Hang Da market, were seen sitting grasping the knees and yawning rapidly. There were only several visitors, who asked the prices of food.

The scene was nearly the same on the afternoon of the same day. A lot of advertisement pieces on re-leasing the kiosks were hung on the wall.

The owner of Minh Hang embroidery shop said the business had never been so poor since the day the Hang Da market turned into the Hang Da Trade Center. She said she just wishes to make a modest profit.

Other merchants said they are looking for someone to re-lease the kiosks, because the current poor business performance cannot bring money to them.

The owner of a vegetable kiosk on the ground floor also complained that there have been very few buyers. People do not want to go to the trade center, because they would have to spend time parking motorbikes, while they would have to buy things at higher prices. The merchants here, who have to pay for electricity, water, security guards and other services, have charged higher on consumers, thus keeping consumers away.

The situation was even more terrible at Cua Nam Trade Center. The reporters, who were present at the market for half an hour, could see only one visitor, a foreigner.

Modern market not favored by modern Hanoians

While it was very quiet inside the Hang Da Market, it was very noisy and bustling outside on the Hang Da Market’s area. Hundreds of food, fruit and vegetable shops located on the nearby streets were seen full of visitors.

Vu Danh Hoa, General Director of the Hang Da Trade Joint Stock Company, which is running the Hang Da Trade Center, complained that the shops and the small markets arisen spontaneously around the center have made Hang Da Market “paralyzed.”

Phi Ngoc Doan, Chair of the Cua Nam Ward People’s Committee, said that it would take a long time to change the shopping habits of Vietnamese people.

The people, who mostly go on motorbikes, would rather stop their motorbikes and buy things at the kiosks on the pavement, than spending time going into modern markets. While it takes them only several minutes to buy things at the shops along the streets, they would have more than one hour to buy the same things inside the markets.

“If people want to buy a lot of things, they would go to big supermarkets instead of the upgraded markets,” Doan said.

Nguyen Thi Minh Yen, Head of the Economics Division of the Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee, has also noted that the operation of markets located inside trade centers has been facing big difficulties, pointing out that the model is not really reasonable.

As for Hang Da market, 220 households have halted their business due to the bad business results.

Experts have pointed out that in its modernization process, Hanoi needs to develop all the supermarkets, shopping malls and people’s daily markets (traditional markets).

They have stressed that traditional markets play their specific roles in the life of the society, and that it would be a blunder if someone tries to eliminate the traditional markets.

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