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Co.opmart Cong Quynh, Saigon's Oldest, Might Have to Close Next Year

Say it ain’t so!

In recent days, rumors of Co.opmart Cong Quynh’s imminent closure have been circulating on online groups. Tuoi Tre reports that there’s a possibility that the outlet might be forced to close during next year’s first quarter under pressure to return the lot to the Vietnam Border Defence Force, which manages the land.

A representative of Saigon Co.op, the supermarket chain’s management body, told the newspaper that the company is undergoing negotiation to reach the best outcome for the decades-old supermarket. Not long ago, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee also requested the Border Force to allow Co.opmart Cong Quynh to operate at least until March 31, 2021.

The People’s Committee reasoned that the retail store is a key shopping destination for District 1 residents, selling safe, reasonably priced and high-quality goods. Moreover, the market is very important during the peak shopping season at the end of the year and in the months leading up to Tet.

At the moment, a final decision has not been made regarding the Co.opmart’s fate, though the company told Zing that it would establish another outlet in District 1 should negotiations for it to remain open fail.

Saigon Co.op was founded in 1989 and opened its first location on Cong Quynh Street in 1996. The upgrade from wet markets to clean aisles, air-conditioning, and even escalators was significant for many Saigoneers at the time. Over time, supermarkets became casual hangouts for families during their weekend trips, though in the 2000s and 2010s, more options like cineplexes, department stores and restaurants slowly filled that void.

In 2018, Co.opmart Dinh Tien Hoang had to cease operation due to a similar rental disagreement. The outlet was the fourth Co.opmart in Saigon.

[Photo via Dan Tri]

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