Founded in 1956, Thong Nhat was one of the first factories built in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
In 1993, the state-led factory became part of the private sector and changed its model to a business corporation, with 500 employees at the time. The matchboxes that feature a pigeon flying in the blue sky became an iconic Vietnamese household item before lighters were popular.
According to reports by Zing, the company announced that it will stop producing these matchboxes to focus on its lighters, which the company introduced in 2013. The move will officially end the 63-year-old Thong Nhat matchbox brand’s production.
The firm’s leaders said that ten years ago, Thong Nhat sold about 180 million matchboxes annually, while nowadays the number has dropped to 100 million. They predict that the decrease will continue, as not many people use matchboxes anymore. Its primary usage, which is to start cooking fires, has been replaced by electric and gas.
Another reason leading to the production being shut down is that the main material used to make these boxes is more expensive and harder to find. Thong Nhat has also de-listed itself from the stock market.
From now on, Thong Nhat will only capitalize on factory renting services and importing lighters from Malaysia.
[Photo via Khoi Nghiep Tre]
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