Several malls in Hanoi wore a deserted look for their Black Friday sales, although most shops were offering 50-70 percent discounts.
A popular sneaker shop at the Vincom Center on Ba Trieu Street in downtown Hanoi attracted few customers despite a plethora of signs announcing discounts of up to 60 percent.
The mall had very few customers at around 10 a.m. Friday, in stark contrast to the same time last year when young customers queued up to receive vouchers and gifts. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such events were not organized this year.
Employees of perfume stores gather for a chat while awaiting customers. One of them said that some brands had already begun offering Black Friday discounts last week, which could explain why customers were not showing up in droves on Friday.
The mall began to see more customers around lunch time, but there was no large crowd of shoppers jostling to get their hands on discounted products like last year.
Some customers said that although shops were offering discounts of 50 percent, the actual price reduction was only 10-20 percent, and most of these were being offered on goods that had been in stock for a long time.
One household items shop in the mall was the only place that was crowded. Household items, especially South Korean brands, are popular among Vietnamese shoppers. In previous years, they shopped for a long time, trying to take full advantage of “buy one get one free” and other discount programs.
Another Vincom mall on Nguyen Chi Thanh Road in Dong Da District was also deserted in the morning.
A mall in Royal City on Nguyen Trai Road was also empty for the most part. One fashion store had several dozen customers queuing up before 10 a.m. to buy garments priced from VND100,000 each.
The store became less crowded after the discount hour ended. Hoang Viet, a student, said that he was disappointed because some of the discounted products like shirts and jeans did not have his size.