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​Once sought after, World Cup souvenirs on ‘fire sale’ in Vietnam as event ends

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 18:17 GMT+7

Sellers of FIFA World Cup 2018 souvenirs in Vietnam are offering their products at heavily discounted prices to empty stock as soon as possible, shortly after the month-long football feast ended on Sunday.

In Vietnam, the commemorative 100-ruble banknote, Zabivaka the Wolf, mascot of Russia 2018, and jerseys of the participating national teams were among the best-sellers before and during the world's largest football tournament.

They are now available at rock bottom prices, shortly after France beat Croatia 4-2 to bring home their second trophy in 20 years on July 15.

Eighty-percent off overnight

The commemorative100-ruble banknote, issued by the Russian Central Bank to celebrate the World Cup, was on sale in Vietnam for up to VND500,000 (US$17) apiece in June and July. The rubble to dong exchange rate was 366 on Wednesday.

However, sellers of the souvenir bill in Vietnam have slashed prices by a shocking 80 percent following Sunday’s final game, with the banknote now fetching only VND100,000 ($4.3) apiece.

“As this banknote is a limited edition, many still want to buy it even after the World Cup is over,” Lan Anh, a souvenir seller in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3, told local news site Zing.

Anh revealed that she had been able to sell more than 300 such souvenir banknotes for as high as VND400,000 each during the course of Russia 2018.

“People really had a thirst for this souvenir, and some only wanted to show it off on Facebook,” she explained.

The front side and the back of the new Russian 100-ruble commemorative FIFA banknote celebrating the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Russian Central Bank
The front and back of the new commemorative Russian 100-ruble FIFA banknote celebrating the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Russian Central Bank

However, Anh is selling the products at a discounted price, acknowledging that she would not be able to empty her remaining stock of some 200 banknotes if she maintained such a high price after the event.

“Even so, sales have been much slower than during the event and I am considering slashing prices further, even to cost price,” she admitted.

Mascot and jerseys

In the same situation, stuffed animals of this year's mascot, Zabivaka, are on sale at extremely discounted prices on such souvenir streets in Ho Chi Minh City as Nguyen Tri Phuong and Nguyen Trai, as well as on online stores.

The owner of an online souvenir shop said demand for the products was only high before and during the first days of the World Cup, and purchase volume was leveled down ever since.

"Fortunately, I managed to sell out hundreds of Zabivaka to friends who run coffee shops screening World Cup matches since the middle of the tournament,” she said.

“These cafés would give away the stuffed wolves as a lucky draw gift to attract visitors to their venues.”

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Official Mascot Zabivaka Plush Doll. Photo: Amazon UK
The 2018 FIFA World Cup's Official Mascot Zabivaka Plush Doll. Photo: Amazon UK

Sportswear has also been steeply discounted at wholesale markets and large fashion shops, which enjoyed more than a month of prosperity thanks to the World Cup.

Wholesalers at Tan Binh, Binh Tay, and Ba Chieu, three of the largest wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City, said purchase volume of World Cup-themed sportswear items has decreased significantly compared to ten days ago.

Even when wholesale prices for the products have fallen by about 20 percent, few customers seem to be keen, according to the traders.

Likewise, fashion shops in Ho Chi Minh City are running promotional programs, with prices reduced by up to 50 percent, to empty their World Cup stock.

H. Tam, owner of a sportswear shop, said she is looking forward to domestic football tournaments, hoping to empty a huge unsold inventory of World Cup jerseys.

“Retail stores would adjust prices for their products after each round of the World Cup, and jerseys of those playing in the final match fetched three to four times higher than the normal rates," Tam revealed.

The healthy sales during the World Cup mean retailers would not incur losses from their unsold stock, Tam added.

A customer shops for football jersey at a sportswear shop in Ho Chi Minh City.
A customer shops for football jerseys at a sportswear shop in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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