The Story of NTUC Fair Price: Singapore’s very Own

The story of NTUC fair Price could be traced back to the early seventies. Then, Singapore was faced with the oil crisis and rising prices due to inflation. The Labor Movement together with the determined Singapore government, worked closely to find a solution to this serious problem.

In 1973, the National Trades Union Congress launched a supermarket co-operative called NTUC Welcome in Toa Payoh. The then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew was there to officially declare the store opened. This was a significant indication of the strong support from the government. At about the same time, other unions such as the Singapore Industrial Labor Organizations (SILO) and Pioneer Industries Employees Union (PIEU) also set up co-operatives to run supermarkets to help curb profiteering. SILO and PIEU later merged to form the Singapore Employees Co-operative (SEC) in the early eighties.

In May 1983, amidst growing competition and the need to be more efficient in costs, a merger between NTUC Welcome and SEC resulted in the enlarged co-operative known as NTUC fair price Co-operative limited.

Since then, NTUC Fair Price has continued with its original mission to stabilize the prices of essential consumer products and has gone on to become the people’s supermarket.

Fair Price Today:

Today, Fair Price has grown to become the leading supermarket retailer in Singapore. It has a retail network of close to 180 stores, island wide. Owned by about 500,000 Singaporeans, it serves the needs of more than a million everyday and is indeed Singapore’s very own. Its founding mission, to help moderate the cost of living for low income household in Singapore, remains at the heart of its operations. With sales of more than $1.42 billion in the last financial year and staff strength of over 5,000 the corporate mission of Fair Price incorporates an additional responsibility not only to its customers but also to its staff, who have made its success possible. NTUC Fair Price, Best Place to Shop, best Place to Work and Best Corporate Citizen underlines its commitment to bring value to the community its customers its staff and ultimately to its co-operative members who by their support make Fair Price Singapore’s very own largest supermarket chain. The years, Fair Price has continuously revolutionized its business to remain in the forefront of retail technology and innovation, and remain responsive to the changing environment and customer’s needs.

Business Formats:

The mainstay of fair Price business is retailing. Besides its flagship Fair Price supermarkets, the Fair Price Group also has various store formats targeting at different market segments. In its operations, it has entered into new formats and services in recent years such as Liberty market, Cheers Convenience Store, Fair Price Xpress, Pasar, Fair Price Home mart, Fair Price Online and Fair Price Xtra. Fair Price also caters to increasingly popular niche markets. Examples are the hala fresh and deli item for Muslim shoppers, more healthy choice products and nutrition programs for the health conscious shoppers more exotic products that come from non-conventional sources like Chile, Hungary, South Africa, to cater to the adventurous consumers, as well as online shopping for the Internet savvy shoppers. All these improvisations and additions to the traditional range of products and services is to better serve its new millennium customers who are well traveled, better educated and lad increasingly modern and global lifestyles.

Central Warehousing & Distribution:

Fair Price itself in being the first supermarket retailer in Singapore that has its own central warehousing and distribution system. In 1998, NTUC Fair Price took full ownership of its central warehouse distribution company and renamed it Grocery Logistics of Singapore Pte Ltd. It has since invested in a new warehouse management system to achieve better inventory control and streamline orders from operations so as to enhance customers’ shopping experience.

Fair Price has also set up a 13,000 square meter Fresh Food Distribution Center in January 2003. This refrigerated distribution facility centralizes the distribution of temperature sensitive fresh and chilled products to all its outlets. Fair price is the first supermarket retailer to build, own and operate a Fresh Food Distribution Center. The center has also been given the HACCP certification.

To further its growth in Singapore and the region, Fair price is constantly exploring new business ventures that will complement its exiting activities.

Fair Price Believes that the quality of its employees is crucial to its ability to fulfill its quality commitment to its customers. As such, fair Price has put in place a quality system for developing its over 5,000 strong staff. To this end, fair Price efforts are recognized in its being one of the pioneering companies in Singapore that have achieved he People Developer standard, a national quality standard for investing in people. This reaffirms its commitment towards its most valuable resource: its staff, through integrated people development plans that is in synergy with its corporate objectives.