Supermarkets are likely to increase prices of many products following recent increases in overhead such as worker pay and petroleum, causing worries among operators that the price hikes may slow sales.
According to Vu Vinh Phu, Chairman of the Hanoi Supermarkets Association, including both recent rises in petrol, one litre of petrol is now VND1,000 more than before. Since most goods bought in supermarkets are transported from the south, petrol prices have an impact on the cost of products.
Wholesalers have proposed increases of as high as 5% to 10% in coming weeks. The dilemma for many supermarket owners is whether to pass on the higher cost to the consumer, which could slow sales, or to take the losses.
A representative from Intimex Hao Nam Supermarket said, “Currently, the prices of many products at supermarkets are higher than they are in street markets. If these costs continue to increase, we may not be able to complete. Right now we are in negotiations with wholesalers for the best prices.”
Prices of products such as candies, beverages, fruits and clothes at supermarkets can be as much as 20% higher than those in other markets.
Vu Thi Hau, Director of Fivimart supermarket chain, said that many supermarkets receive and sell goods on consignment, so if the producers’ prices rise they will have no choice but to pass the cost to the customer.
On the other hand, food prices in many traditional markets have also been on the increase.