City-dwellers get into festive spirit - Website Ho Chi Minh City
Many streets in Ho Chi Minh City, including major downtown ones, big and small shopping malls, and stores are beautifully decorated as people prepare to welcome Christmas and New Year.
Stores are also filled with a wide range of goods and have unveiled promotions for the festive season.
Many shops on Hai Ba Trung, Vo Thi Sau, Cach Mang Thang Tam, Nguyen Trai, and Hai Thuong Lan Ong streets are selling Christmas decorations like pine trees, Santa Claus effigies and outfits, stone grottoes, tinsel, lights, lanterns, snowmen, clothes, and gift items.
According to businesses, demand has increased significantly compared to last year, with pine trees, jingle bells, ornamental balls, laurel wreaths, and Santa Claus effigies being the bestsellers.
Phuong, owner of Phuong Hoang shop on Hai Thuong Lan Ong street, said prices of decorative items have gone up by 5-10 percent from last year.
She too said the number of people coming to her shop has increased significantly.
Artificial pine trees measuring 1.2m-1.5m cost 400,000-700,000 VND (18.75-30 USD) depending on the material, design, and size.
Shops offer ready decorated trees and decoration service for the benefit of busy customers.
Roadside stalls are also selling Santa Claus clothes and hats, with prices ranging from 10,000-30,000 VND (0.47-1.42 USD) for hat and 100,000-300,000 VND (4.7-14.2 USD) for clothes depending on size and material.
A 2m long tinsel costs around 30,000 VND and boxes of five colourful Christmas baubles are priced at 70,000-90,000 VND (3.33-4.28 USD) depending on size.
Many shops have announced gift-delivery services on Christmas.
Supermarkets like Co.opmart, Big C, and Lotte Mart have placed pine trees, Santa Claus statues, Christmas costumes, balls, and lights in prominent places and announced promotions to attract shoppers.
Big C is offering discounts of 5-49 percent on 1,500 items from December 2 to 25.
It is offering special deals on decorative items, clothes, and gifts as well as dried and fresh foods, beverages, processed foods, and cosmetics.
Lotte Mart has launched a Christmas promotion with discounts on decorative and fashion items and cakes besides gifts until December 18.
According to shop owners, the proportion of locally made items for Christmas decoration has increased remarkably over previous years.
Their good quality and designs and reasonable prices have won shoppers' hearts, they added.