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In modernization process, traditional markets would be eliminated   2012-05-27 - NLD

Amid the strong development of convenience stores, traditional markets have been dieing slowly, while small merchants have lost their bread earner.


Traditional markets have become quiet over the last 2-3 years with the dramatic fall of the purchasing power. The economic crisis has forced people to fasten their belt, while they would go to convenience stores to buy essential things instead of traditional markets.

At 9 am on Sunday May 20, the Phu Lam Market in district 6 was still quiet with just a few visitors. Dang Ngoc Trang, the owner of a cosmetics kiosk was seen reading the newspaper.

“The sales have been going very slowly. I cannot earn 100,000 dong a day,” Trang said. “Consumers have left the market. We now only serve loyal customers and non-resident visitors.

The merchants at the market said they may have to give up business here, because they have been taking loss for a long time. They do not think they can re-lease the kiosks, because no one would make profits in such circumstances. Some merchants closed their kiosks last month just after 1-2 months of doing business, because they had not had many experiences before becoming merchants and they did not have loyal clients.

The same situation can be seen at Pham Van Hai Market in Tan Binh district and Hoang Hoa Tham Market. Fresh food kiosks were seen deserted as merchants have left the market after seeing the purchasing power dropping by 30-35 percent.

Ung Thi Lien, sweets wholesaler at Binh Tay Market in district 6, complained that the business performance gets worse year after year. The daily sales are less than 1 million dong. She said she has been incurring losses since the beginning of the year, while she still cannot get payment for the goods sold before Tet. As the retailers complained the sales were slow, they did not have money to pay Lien.

While it is getting more and more difficult to do business, tax and fee of all kinds have been increasing sharply, and it is nearly impossible to borrow money firm banks, thus putting a harder pressure on merchants. Some of them have halted their business to avoid the tax and fee.

Giving strength to traditional markets

According to the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the purchasing power has dropped by 10 percent since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, the purchasing power at supermarkets has reportedly increased by 10-20 percent.

Traditional markets have been pushed into a dilemma: they cannot compete with “pavement markets” in terms of prices, and cannot compete with supermarkets in terms of sale promotion campaigns and the convenient services.

In the past, consumers preferred going to traditional markets, where they believed they could buy fresh food. However, they have changed their mind. High income earners would go to supermarkets to buy frozen food, while low income earners prefer going to convenience stores to hunt for sale-off products.

Meanwhile, traditional markets have shown too many problems. With the loosened management, consumers are not sure about the quality of the food they buy. Counterfeit, imitation goods and low quality products have still been available at the markets.

Since most of the traditional markets were built a long time ago, they have been seriously degrading, thus causing inconvenience to visitors.

Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade Le Ngoc Dao has informed that the city’s localities are considering restructure the market system to modernize the distribution channel

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