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Christmas Decorations in High Demand 2 Weeks Ahead of Holiday

Sales of Christmas trees and locally made decorations are soaring across Saigon as the holiday approaches.

According to Tuoi Tre, some stores have already sold out of their Christmas decorations for the year. Real and artificial trees are in particularly high demand as customers are eager to get into the holiday spirit either at home or at the office.

Artificial trees, typically between 1.2 and 1.5 meters tall, retail between VND600,000 and VND1 million (US$26.43 – 44.05). Last year, VietnamNet reported that imported real trees were priced from VND3 million to VND8 million (US$130 to $350), depending on their height (1.8 to 2.7 meters on average). Customers looking for real trees tend to be expats or wealthy local families. 

Stores import the natural trees from temperate regions such as the US or Europe. Since Wednesday, over 500 have arrived in Saigon from Denmark, and 80% of them have already been sold. The trees are kept in cold storage during the four week-long ocean voyage to Vietnam.

Two years ago, Nguyen Anh Lan, a representative of a company called Green Life Investment, spent a whopping VND200 million to import two 2.4-meter-tall Christmas trees to Saigon by plane. Diep Nguyen, the owner of a business that sells Christmas trees, claimed: “[Last year], the import procedure is quite complicated, so we had to place our orders in August and received the support from the US National Christmas Tree Association.” The real trees smell better and their plant limbs are better for hanging ornaments.

In addition to trees, there has been great demand for various Christmas decorations including wreaths, baubles, decorative strings and Santa Claus statues, at stores and markets. Oanh, the owner of a Christmas decoration shop in District 10, observed to Tuoi Tre thatminimal designs are in style this year, and people prefer white and red colors.

Last year, local markets experienced a doubling of sales during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Tram Anh from Ohay Shop at the 2Day SALE flea market told Tuoi Tre: “Our most popular products are Christmas-themed accessories like Christmas tree bracelets and Santa Claus headbands since girls like wearing them to pose for photos with Christmas decorations.”

More of these decorations have been made in Vietnam in the past several years, as opposed to China, where they historically originated from. According to a representative of the Kim Lap Christmas shop on Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street, three years ago, two-thirds of the products that his shop offered were manufactured in Vietnam.

Tuoi Tre reported that the increase in domestically produced costumes, lights, ornaments and statues is due to decreased costs, high quality standards and customer awareness. A representative from Diem Truc Limited Company in District 9 observed: “locally made products are not only attractive but are also able to ensure quality as well as health safety for consumers.”

Santa Claus impersonators are also popular this year. Nguyen Hoang Ngoc, sales executive at an event management company in Saigon, said 60% of their Santa Clauses have already been booked for December 24 and 25. Hiring a Santa Claus for a Christmas event costs VND1 – 3 million (US$44 – 132), while costumes can be rented for VND150,000 (US$6.61) per day. Most of these Santas are students.

[Photo via Tuoi Tre]

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