Valentine's in Vietnam hit by economic slump: report

TN News

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While the number of orders for Valentine's Day products and services has increased this year, their values don't compare to those of last year due to a slower economy, Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon reported Tuesday.

The news website quoted Nguyen Thi Thuy Vu, managing director of Fresh Flower World Joint-Stock Co., as saying that this year the number of orders for Valentine's Day at her company increased by 25 percent year on year, but their values were not as high as last year.

In fact, the orders were worth between VND600,000 and VND1 million (US$28.8-48) each on average, which was almost the same as last year, Vu said

"Being equal means that it has decreased because everything, from raw materials' to workers' costs, has all increased," she explained.

Vu added that this year orders have been much smaller.

Vo Tran Anh Thy, marketing manager of Kinh Do Vietnam Company, which owns well-known Kinh Do Bakery chain stores, agreed.

This year consumers have tightened their belts, and small cakes, or anything on discount, have been selling far better than large expensive cakes.

Ngoc Anh, who runs a gift shop in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, told the news websites she was selling fewer Valentine's-specific gifts this year.

While teenagers were still willing to buy gifts, the number of customers who were university students and white-collars decreased remarkably, she said.

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"We did not order many products from suppliers for fear that they would not sell well," the shop owner said.

Anh was not the only seller who was reserved in response to the slow market.

According to the news website, Fresh Flower World Co. said it was offering more simple and inexpensive products this year than last year.

Kinh Do Bakery stores also pushed cheap cupcakes costing VND20,000 ($0.9) each as a way to target teenagers, it said.

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