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Vietnam: Essential goods online orders overwhelm HCMC’s retailers

The unprecedented volume of online orders at major grocers and supermarket chains in Ho Chi Minh City has resulted in cancellations and long delays in delivery. Retailers say they are racing to add online shopping and ramping up staff for home delivery services amidst the continuing lockdown and strict social distancing requirements, but admitted it was still a tall order since there was a 300-600 per cent spike in online shopping.

The sales director of an e-commerce platform said the pandemic had accelerated the shift in retailing from offline to online. Fast delivery within two to four hours was a vital part of online orders for groceries and fresh vegetables, fruits and food. However, the boom in online grocery is now precluding that, he told

In HCMC, traditional markets account for 60-70 per cent of retail sales of agricultural produce, food and foodstuffs consumed. At this point in time, 93 out of its 234 traditional markets are temporarily closed to combat the outbreak.

The HCMC Department of Industry and Trade said the volume of goods delivered to the three wholesale markets still open in the city was less than 4,600 tons on July 1, 11 per cent down from normal.

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