|Foreigners shop at minimarts
Big supermarkets such as Co-op Mart, Mien Dong, BigC and Metro are operating at full capacity, but smaller shopping malls with higher prices and without sales promotion programs still survive, thanks to foreign visitors.
Most of these minimarts are in high-rises in HCM City. These buildings are used as offices or serviced apartments for foreign experts and entrepreneurs residing in the city. Cosmetics, foodstuffs and consumer goods are available at all minimarts. Foodstuffs such as fruit, vegetables, confectioneries, fast food, canned food and wines account for more than 60% of the items for sale at these minimarts. A bottle of Shochu (a kind of Korean liquor), or a bottle of sake wine or a can of Asahi beer, can satisfy the taste of Korean and Japanese expatriates or tourists in the city.
All shopping malls and minimarts offer thoughtful services and accept payments in cash or such credit cards as MasterCard, Visa Card, Amex, JBC and Diners Club, with a single-price policy for all customers.
1. Tax Shopping Mall - Tax Plaza
After stopping operation for renovation from May 2002 to April 2003, Tax Shopping Mall has been reopened on the first floor of the Tax Plaza. Covering a 500-square-meter area, the shopping mall displays 10,000 items for sale, with the bestsellers being foodstuffs, confectioneries and cosmetics produced domestically. The management has worked with Saigontourist to get tourists to shop at the mall. Nguyen Kim Oanh, deputy head of the mall, says most of the foreign customers are from Japan and Korea. Guests of some hotels in the city center also visit and their favorite products are dried jackfruit, dried taro, and G7, An Thai and Cao Nguyen coffee. Men's tussah shirts and silk kimonos are also favored.
Add: Tax Shopping Mall, first floor, Tax Plaza, 135 Nguyen Hue Blvd., Dist. 1, HCM City. Tel: 8216475. Fax: 8299973.
2. Anne's Grocery - Norfolk Mansion
Behind the Municipal Theater is Hai Ba Trung Street. Go along this street and turn right to Ly Tu Trong Street and you will see the Norfolk Mansion building. Anne's Grocery is on the left of the building. With a modest area of just 50m2, the grocery has more than 5,000 items, mostly imported products such as wines, cheese, chocolate and canned food.
Add: 17-19-21 Ly Tu Trong St., Dist. 1, HCM City. Tel: 8257293. Fax: 8250988.
3. Citimart - Sky Garden
Some 50m from Norfolk Mansion is the Sky Garden building on Le Thanh Ton Street. The Citimart in this building belongs to Dong Hung Co. Ltd. As most of its customers are Japanese, the minimart sells a wide range of Japanese products, such as sake, Asahi beer, wasabi mustards, sushi and soy sauce. Nguyen Thanh Vu, the Citimart's sales assistant, says Japanese account for 80% of customers. It has over 10,000 items. A variety of cosmetics and stuffed toys are displayed at a corner of the store. Vu says prices are the same as in other minimarts of the Citimart chain.
Add: 20 Le Thanh Ton St., Dist. 1, HCM City. Tel: 8228868.
4. Citimart - Somerset
The Somerset building on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street has a Citimart that is a shopping venue for foreigners residing in HCM City. Foodstuffs account for 80% of the minimart's 10,000 items, including various kinds of chocolate, wines, canned food and cosmetics.
Add: 21 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St., Dist. 1, HCM City. Tel: 8244818.
5. Maximark - Saigon Centre
The minimart is on the first floor and part of the second floor of the Saigon Centre building on Le Loi Boulevard, one of the main streets in the city downtown. This is a big minimart with up to 70,000 items. Foreign customers represent 70% of its customers. Most of the items for sale are imports and Vietnamese specialties. The minimart has exclusive sections for handicrafts such as rattan and bamboo handbags.
Add: 1st and 2nd floors, Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi Blvd., Dist. 1, HCM City. Tel: 8210320. Fax: 8210732.
6. Zen Plaza
About 200m on Nguyen Trai Street from Phu Dong intersection is the Zen Plaza building, a popular fashion venue in the city. The sixth floor of the building receives a large number of foreign customers, with Japanese making up 40%. More than 15,000 items are available at the plaza. Foodstuffs and cosmetics are sold at two separate sections divided by the elevator system.
Add: 54-56 Nguyen Trai St., Dist. 1, HCM City. Tel: 9250340.
7. Quang Dai Minimart - Thuan Kieu Plaza
Quang Dai Minimart is on the second floor of Thuan Kieu Plaza, 10km from the city center. As it is in the Chinese residence quarter and under the serviced apartments of Thuan Kieu building, 40%-50% of customers are foreigners, mostly from China and Hong Kong. The 1,500-square-meter minimart has some 15,000 items, including bottled beverages and cosmetics.
Add: 2nd floor, Thuan Kieu Plaza, 190 Hong Bang St., Dist. 5, HCM City. Tel: 9551423. Fax: 9551422.