Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade has affirmed its commitment to ensure sufficient supply of essential goods, while setting up plans to stockpile goods in case the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies.
Since early March, retailers in Hanoi have been increasing their volume of goods by four to five times compared to normal days to meet the growing demand of customers. For example, Vinmart has increased its inventories by 40 times, while other retailers are planning to bring supplies from other localities to the distribution network in Hanoi.
Deputy General Director of Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro) Nguyen Viet Tien said the company has worked with its suppliers to increase inventories of essential goods by 30 – 50% for each supermarket and by 10 times at the fulfillment center.
Addressing concern of the public over the supply of face masks, Vice Director of Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said there are currently 28 face mask producers in the city, capable of making billions of medical and antibacterial face masks per month.
“Such a high production capacity would ensure steady supply of face masks for the people,” Lan added.
In the second quarter, Lan added her department and retailers plan to double the inventories compared to previous months with estimated costs of VND174 trillion (US$7.48 billion), including 557 tons of food, 111 tons of pork, 32 tons of chicken, 619 tons of vegetables, 31 tons of seafood, and 31 tons of processed food, among others.
Moreover, over 234 million antibacterial face masks, 18.36 million medical face masks, and 123.96 million toilet paper rolls are expected to make their way to the market, Lan said.
In fact, retailers are facing difficulties in distributing goods as people stay away from crowded places like shopping malls. Vice Director of Central Retail, operator of the Big C supermarket chain, Nguyen Thi Phuong suggested Hanoi People’s Committee set up points of sales at residential areas.
Regarding this issue, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade said it would allow major retailers to utilize certain facilities in localities as temporary fulfillment houses, which could help distribute goods quicker in case the pandemic turns more complicated.