An 11-day promotional campaign launched as a farewell to local consumers by Auchan Vietnam ahead of the French supermarket chain’s exit from the country has been marred by riot-like chaos caused by shameless people who stormed its outlets and walked away with stolen goods.
Auchan was selling a number of its goods at discounts between 25 to 50 percent during a May 20 to 31 sale campaign, in an apparent attempt to clear its stock before the chain’s official exit from Vietnam later next week.
The attractive discounts attracted a sea of customers who jammed Auchan stores across the country from the first day of the sale. However, many customers reportedly took advantage of the crowds to use products right in the store without paying, creating riot-like scenes at several Auchan outlets.
Such chaotic scenes were repeated at several Auchan supermarkets on Thursday, when the promotional campaign drew to the end.
|A lipstick vandalized by customers is seen at an Auchan supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City, May 30, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre|
Nga, a consumer who visited the Auchan supermarket on Pham Van Dong Street in Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that she found several bottles of liquid products, such as fabric softener, only half filled.
Nga said many customers had opened the bottles to ‘steal’ the fabric conditioner inside, spilling the liquid everywhere on the floor.
What’s worse is that many customers had turned thieves inside the Auchan stores, with stealing cases happening at the outlet in Go Vap District every day, according to one representative there.
On Thursday afternoon, a female visitor to the store was caught in the act while hiding three makeup powders in the pocket of her coat.
The supermarket booked the case and asked the customer to pay a fine ten times the value of the products she attempted to steal.
|Attendants work with a customer caught stealing its goods at an Auchan supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City, May 30, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre|
Vu Thi Kim Nuong, marketing and communication manager at Auchan Vietnam, told Tuoi Tre in a discussion on the same day that these ugly behaviors of the locals have caused great damage to the chain, which already suffered from its loss-making business in the Southeast Asian country, the main reason for its exit.
“The damaged or opened products have all become unsellable inventory,” Nuong said.
During Thursday’s discussion, Nuong also gave more information on Auchan’s exit from Vietnam.
Accordingly, 15 out of its 18 outlets will open until June 2, while the other three, including one in Tan Binh District and two in District 7, will continue operation until the parent company finalizes its deal to transfer the Vietnam business to a new owner.
Products remaining unsold before the closure will be transferred to these three supermarkets, while food products will be donated to charity, Nuong added.
|Food products vandalized by customers are seen at an Auchan supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City, May 30, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre|