Foods and vegetables sold like hot cakes at several supermarkets and minimarts in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, as people were eager to do the shopping after one day restricted by torrential rains that lasted the whole of Sunday.
Several shelves of vegetables, fish, eggs and processed foods at the Co.op Mart supermarket on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District went empty at 7:30 pm on Monday.
Confectionery on the shelves next to the payment counters, which are normally ignored by customers, was also sold out.
According to an attendant here, the supermarket was so crowded from the early morning that many items had been out of stock by mid-day.
“It's been a long time since I saw so many people go shopping here,” the attendant said.
Similarly, different kinds of vegetable at another Co.op Mart supermarket on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 3 sold faster than ever on Monday.
Common vegetables like water spinach and Malabar spinach were nowhere to be seen, while other greens were only left in a small amount.
|Empty egg shelves are seen at the Co.op Mart supermarket on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District at 7:30 pm on November 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Hanh, a resident in Binh Thanh District, who went to the aforementioned supermarket to buy pork, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that she could not go to the market for two days because of flooding.
“There are fewer vegetables today than the other days, many of them are sold out, only fruits and root vegetables are left, no suitable vegetables to buy,” Nguyen Ngoc Le, who works near the supermarket, said while selecting veggies here.
Demand for vegetables saw an unusual increase, according to an attendant at the supermarket, while the goods supply fell behind the need due to the impact of the rains triggered by storm Usagi.
Likewise, meat sales of Vietnam's leading meat processor Vissan at its counter inside the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Co.op Mart supermarket on Monday rose by 40 percent compared to other days, according to an attendant.
At other supermarkets such as Big C on To Hien Thanh Street in District 10, some vegetables were completely sold out; at the Satramart supermarket in District 10, there were only a few meats, clams, shrimp, and fish left.
|Empty bread and cookies shelves are seen at the Co.op Mart supermarket on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District at 7:30 pm on November 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Mini-supermarkets in the city also faced the same situation, quickly running out of foods and vegetables.
“Normally, the vegetable shelves are still full when I come here at 6:00 pm every day, but they’re sold out too early today,” said Huynh Nhat Minh, an office worker, shopping at Satrafoods on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Phu Nhuan District on Monday night.
“I still have not found enough to cook.”
An attendant of the supermarket said that they had sold all the vegetables by the afternoon of the same day, instead of 8:00 pm on normal days.
At Japanese retailer AEON’s Citimart in District 1 and Satrafoods on Phan Dang Luu Street in Phu Nhuan District, a lot of vegetable shelves were also empty.
Addressing this issue, a Co.op Mart representative told Tuoi Tre that the lack of goods only occurred at particular points of sale because of the sudden large purchase.
|An empty meat counter is seen at the Co.op Mart supermarket on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District at 7:30 pm on November 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Overall, the supply of goods of the leading Vietnamese retailer remained stable as Co.op Mart coincidentally had just re-stocked for discount programs right before the storm. Some items, mainly leafy vegetables and seafood, were really in short supply because of the heavy rain.
According to the representative, prices did not fluctuate much in the aftermath of the storm.
Similarly, the South Korean retailer Lotte Mart explained that people could not do the shopping for two days due to the rainstorm, so a significantly larger number of customers visited its supermarkets on Monday.
This retail chain also reported a rise of around 40-50 percent in purchase compared to the previous days, causing many commodities to be sold out.
As storm Usagi mainly hit the southern region of Vietnam, while vegetables are mostly sourced by supermarkets from the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and other localities in other regions, the lack of goods is not severe, except for some types of leafy vegetable.
The storm made landfall on Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces on the weekend, causing a historically heavy rain in the city that sank many streets under up to 400mm of rainwater on Sunday.
|Empty meat shelves are seen at the Co.op Mart supermarket on Phan Xich Long Street in Phu Nhuan District at 7:30 pm on November 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Empty vegetable shelves are seen at Satrafoods on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Phu Nhuan District on November 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre|