Though they eagerly reopen after being closed for 27 days due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many Hanoi businesses are also worried about changing consumer behaviors.
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After Hanoi authorities announced that indoor dining and hairdressing can resume on Tuesday, Bui Quang Hung, co-founder of barber shop chain 30Shine, showed his excitement with a post on social media saying, “see you Hanoians on Tuesday morning.”
He said the shops would open from 7.30 a.m. until late night to clear a backlog of almost a month.
“Men have to visit the barber once every three weeks on average because they feel irritated if their hair is one to two centimeters too long.”
There would be two or three times the usual number of customers for two weeks, he said based on his experience from previous waves.
But some other businesses are less hopeful.
Trieu Nguyen Quan, owner of the Goofoo Gelato chain of ice cream shops, does not expect many customers for 10 days after reopening since people are afraid of the pandemic.
Hoang Tung, CEO of fast-food restaurant chain Pizza Home, said the outbreak could cause him to lose a number of customers since people have adopted a new habit of eating at home.
To survive the stop-start nature of their business amid the pandemic, many have sought to improve their business model. Tung said Pizza Home has closed some stores that were not doing well but has expanded into home delivery and apps.
“The restaurants have to operate both online and offline, and must be prepared for the worst, which is closure, amid the pandemic.”
Goofoo Gelato too has managed to pull on thanks to online sales.
Quan said he plans to increase the number of outlets but only after vaccination. He said vaccination is the only way to make him feel secure and the ultimate solution for businesses to open and the economy to revive.
Around 2 percent of the population has received the first shot, and 0.1 percent has received both.
Vietnam has received delivery of around three million vaccine doses so far, and is expected to get over 120 million this year.
It seeks around 150 million in all to cover 70 percent of its population.