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Scorching weather brings bonanza for businesses, services in Ho Chi Minh City

Friday, April 19, 2019, 10:00 GMT+7
Scorching weather brings bonanza for businesses, services in Ho Chi Minh City
Staffers work at a warehouse of an electronics company in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

Several businesses and services in Vietnam such as air-con manufacturers, coffee shops, convenience stores, and food delivery services are cashing in on the blistering heat baking Ho Chi Minh City over the last month.

While the sweltering weather has taken its toll on residents in the southern metropolis, it also created several new business opportunities to service providers here.

While most of the city stays holed up near air conditioners, delivery drivers for food and service apps are reaping the benefits.

One such driver, Nguyen Anh Tuan, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he and his colleagues are receiving way more orders than usual, especially during lunchtime hours, upping their average income to VND300,000-400,000 (US$13-17) per day.

Meanwhile, those who do venture into the heat often find themselves ducking into air-conditioned convenience stores to shelter themselves from the sun.

According to attendants at these convenience stores, chilled beverages are selling so quickly that shelves are constantly in need of new stock.

Customers pack a convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City during noon time. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Customers pack a convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City during a lunch break. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

‘Ice coffee shops,' cafes where customers are served drinks in frozen rooms chilled -10 degrees Celsius, are also among the options most favored by Ho Chi Minh City residents to escape the heat.

Customers often crowd these ‘ice coffee shops’ between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm and stay from two to four hours, according to the owner of a facility in Tan Binh District.

But unsurprisingly, the real money is being made by stores selling air-conditioners.   

As many as 25,000 air-conditioners were sold during the three days of the Hung Kings’ Festival, from April 13 to 15, at Dien May Xanh electronics stores in Vietnam. Seventy percent of the 25,000 air-conditioners were purchased in the southern region, according to Doan Van Hieu Em, the chain’s general director.

Em said that figure is ten times higher than normal sales and is expected to continue increasing until the consumption rate reaches 10,000 units per day.

Likewise, this month’s air-conditioner sales at Nguyen Kim, one of Vietnam’s leading electronics chains, surged more than 70 percent compared to the monthly average so far this year.

A worker washes outdoor units of an air-conditioner. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

A worker cleans components of of an air-conditioner. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Alongside selling, maintaining air-conditioners has been big business over the past few weeks.

According to Nguyen Van Hung, the owner of an air-con repairing workshop in Binh Thanh District, his customers have doubled over the past few days.

The hike in demand has resulted in a rise in service fees, said Lam Chi Tam, a representative for an electronics company in the same district.

Southern Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular have been suffering from sizzling temperatures since the end of March, with only two or three unseasonal rains to cool down the city.

It will remain scorching in the region in the next few days, with temperatures forecast to hover between 35 and 37 degrees Celsius, while real feel and heat on the surface of roads could be three to four degrees higher.

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