Small merchants slam supermarket development plan
10:29 05/10/2014
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While urban authorities believe that traditional markets should be replaced by shopping malls and supermarkets, many city residents are opposed to the idea.

Small merchants slam supermarket development plan

More than 300 petty merchants who have stalls at Tan Binh Market in HCM City raised strong objections against the plan on rebuilding Tan Binh Market into a six-storey general-purpose shopping center at a recent meeting with Tan Binh District People's Committee.

The merchants said they could not see any benefits from rebuilding the market, saying they were satisfied with the current situation.

They fear they would face the same problems as merchants of An Dong and Binh Tay Markets in HCM City, and Hang Da Market in Hanoi.

“An Dong is a wholesale market, but only the first floor of the multi-storey building is full of visitors, while the other stories now serve as storehouses,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh, a merchant at Tan Binh Market.

“At An Dong Plaza, many storeys have also been left idle. Even the kiosks on the high floors of Binh Tay and An Dong Markets cannot attract buyers. I believe that the same problem would occur with the new Tan Binh market,” she added.

Vu Minh Quan, the owner of the 9-10C kiosk at Tan Binh Market, said he could not understand why the district authorities decided to build modern multi-storey markets.

“Vietnamese are still poor. They need traditional markets which can provide fresh and cheap products,” Quan said. “It is necessary to improve the market to make it more spacious and convenient for trade, but not to rebuild it into a multi-storey shopping center.”

Quan said there were numerous modern shopping malls in HCM City. However, the majority of HCM City residents do not go to the malls, but to traditional markets when they need essential goods. This explains why only 20 percent of the retail premises at the modern shopping malls are occupied.

Modern and deserted shopping centers are also can be seen in Hanoi. Most of the newly built markets developed from the once bustling traditional markets have been experiencing a slump: consumers do not go to the modern shopping centers, and petty merchants do not set up their kiosks there.

The Hang Da Shopping Center, located on prime real estate in the central area of Hanoi, has been deserted, though it was rebuilt with large capital of VND250 billion.

The new policy on free rent for retail premises for one year, applied in the last year, has not attracted small merchants.  

The same situation is faced by Cua Nam, Buoi, and 19-12 Shopping Centers.

Several days ago, the plan to develop 1,000 supermarkets to gradually replace traditional markets in Hanoi also faced harsh criticism from experts.

And elsewhere, merchants in Con and Han traditional markets in the central city of Da Nang are concerned about plans by the city to turn two markets into high-rise shopping centers. They fear the new shopping centers would be more modern but deserted.

Kim Chi

Source Vietnamnet

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