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NTUC FairPrice
TypeSupermarket, Co-Operative
IndustryRetail
Founded22 July 1973; 48 years ago (1973-07-22)
Headquarters1 Joo Koon Circle, #13-01, FairPrice Hub, Singapore 629117
Key people
Bobby Chin (Chairman) [1]
Seah Kian Peng (Chief Executive Officer)
ProductsGrocery stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets
ParentNTUC
Websitehttp://www.fairprice.com.sg/

NTUC FairPrice Co-Operative (Chinese: 新加坡职工总会平价合作社, Tamil: NTUC FairPriceகூட்டுறவு, Malay: Syarikat-koperasi NTUC FairPrice) is a supermarket chain based in Singapore and the largest in the country. The company is a co-operative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). The group has 100 supermarkets across the island, with over 160 outlets of Cheers convenience stores island-wide.

NTUC FairPrice has partnered with ExxonMobil to run several stations with a FairPrice branding at the minimarts at their stations. The supermarket has the slogan "Singapore's very own".

History

The Toa Payoh Hub branch NTUC Fairprice Supermarket before the makeover.
The Toa Payoh Hub branch NTUC Fairprice Supermarket before the makeover.

NTUC FairPrice was first established on 22 July 1973 as NTUC Welcome Supermarket in Toa Payoh, to solve the rising oil and daily prices then due to inflation. Then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew opened the first supermarket at Block 192, Toa Payoh Lorong 4, and it was the first of its kind.[2] Around the same time, other unions such as the Singapore Industrial Labour Organisation and Pioneer Industries Employees Union also set up co-operatives to run supermarkets. The two organisations later merged in the early 1980s to form the Singapore Employees Co-operative (SEC).

In May 1983, due to competition, NTUC Welcome and SEC merged to form a larger co-operative which was known as NTUC FairPrice Co-Operative Limited.

The company started a central-distribution system to change the way goods were delivered to stores, to enhance efficiency. This was owned by another company, but in 1998, FairPrice took full ownership of the warehouse and distribution company. It was renamed Grocery Logistics of Singapore (GLS). On 21 January 2003, FairPrice opened a new 13,000-square-metre Fresh Food Distribution Centre. The refrigerated-distribution facility centralises the distributions of fresh and chilled products to all the outlets in the chain. It is the first supermarket retailer in Singapore to build, own and operate its own fresh-food distribution centre.[3]

An Esso petrol station run by NTUC FairPrice. It is operated by the company with a FairPrice Xpress store, the station was the first to be converted to the new format.
An Esso petrol station run by NTUC FairPrice. It is operated by the company with a FairPrice Xpress store, the station was the first to be converted to the new format.

That same year, FairPrice tied up with oil company ExxonMobil to open FairPrice Xpress and Cheers convenience outlets at seven Esso and Mobil stations as a pilot project. [4]

FairPrice's largest branch in Singapore, the FairPrice Xtra hypermarket, at Ang Mo Kio Hub.
FairPrice's largest branch in Singapore, the FairPrice Xtra hypermarket, at Ang Mo Kio Hub.

On 28 December 2006, FairPrice opened its largest branch in Singapore, the 7,150 square metres (77,000 sq ft) FairPrice Xtra hypermarket, at Ang Mo Kio Hub. The new S$12 million outlet offers a wider range of goods than the typical FairPrice supermarket, and includes new lines like electronic products and fashion wear.[5]

In August 2007, FairPrice opened its upmarket outlet at Bukit Timah Plaza named FairPrice Finest, after five months of refurbishment. The move was to cater to the changing tastes of Singaporeans who are increasingly well-travelled. The 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft), two-storey outlet has an offering of products different from other FairPrice stores, and also features a Swiss-style delicatessen, a wine cellar and a European bakery. FairPrice has plans to open more Finest outlets.[6]

FairPrice has attempted to expand into other countries. In 2003, it entered a joint venture with DBS Private Equity, New Hope Group, Silver Tie and Taiwan's Apex Group, known as Nextmall. The venture provided merchandising, management and logistics for a fee to Nextmart which is a China incorporated hypermarket. Seven hypermarkets were opened in China, with its first in Shaoxing, Zhejiang.[7] Nextmall closed in 2005 after incurring a total of $80 million in debts and over $40 million in losses.[8] A supermarket in Vietnam was opened in 2013 under a joint venture with Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives, known as Co.opXtra Plus.[9] FairPrice also operated Cheers convenience stores in Vietnam as of 2018.[10]

Retail formats

Every year, FairPrice offers NTUC Union Members (NTUC cardholders) and FairPrice shareholders dividends, along with cash-back rebates for all purchases made at FairPrice supermarkets island-wide, including FairPrice Xtra, FairPrice Homemart, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xpress – excluding Cheers outlets. Such payout rates are subject to approval at Annual General Meetings (typically in the month of August). In 2007, FairPrice declared rebates amounting to 4% of purchases of up to S$6,000 made in the last financial year, as well as a dividend of 5% and special dividend of 3%.[13]

NTUC Plus! Cardholders (union), Plus! Cardholders (non-union) are entitled to 2 LinkPoints for every S$1 spent (for a minimum spending of S$20 in receipts issued on the same day) under the Plus! programme by NTUC Link.

In collaboration with OCBC Bank, FairPrice launched its FairPrice Plus membership programme in April 2007, offering banking solutions[buzzword] and promotions at all FairPrice supermarkets islandwide for all supermarket customers.[14] For a minimum transaction of S$10, VISA payment is now accepted at all FairPrice supermarkets for the FairPrice Plus Card and the NTUC Plus Card (previously known as the NTUC-OCBC Visa Card) for NTUC Union Members.

Union

Employees of NTUC FairPrice are represented by the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers' Union (FDAWU), an affiliate of the National Trades Union Congress.

References

  1. ^ "Ng Ser Miang steps down as NTUC FairPrice Chairman". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  2. ^ Shapudin, Naqiyah 2013 'Back at the first store after 35 years', The New Paper 27 July. p.6
  3. ^ "Official Opening of NTUC FairPrice's Fresh Food Distribution Centre". NAS. 21 January 2003. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  4. ^ Wong, Jeana (18 April 2006). "Mobil stations making way for Esso under rebranding". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  5. ^ "FairPrice hypermarket opens its doors", The Business Times, 28 December 2006
  6. ^ Nur Dianah Suhaimi (19 August 2007). "Fancy exotic cheeses, live oysters? Try FairPrice". The Sunday Times.
  7. ^ "NTUC FairPrice to run China hypermarts". www.thestar.com.my. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  8. ^ "FairPrice to expand in Vietnam". sg.news.yahoo.com. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  9. ^ "NTUC FairPrice opens joint venture store in Vietnam". The Straits Times. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Singapore's Cheers convenience store chain expands in Vietnam". Inside Retail Asia. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Fairprice Finest". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Fairprice Xtra". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  13. ^ FairPrice Rebates (4 September 2007). "NTUC Union Membership Core Benefits". NTUC.
  14. ^ FairPrice Plus (18 April 2007). "FairPrice & OCBC Bank Introduce the First FairPrice Plus Banking Product Offered Exclusively at FairPrice Supermarkets" (PDF). OCBC Bank.