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NTUC consolidates supermarket and food courts in Singapore to ramp up omnichannel efforts

NTUC has been increasingly adopting technology and innovative concepts to create omnichannel experiences.

Singapore-based National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) social enterprise arm has announced it is consolidating its supermarket and food court operations under a single entity.

The consolidation will see the NTUC Fairprice supermarket and NTUC food court operations Foodfare and Kopitiam, come under the purview of a new holding company called FairPrice Group.

NTUC explained this move is to optimise resources of all of its three social enterprises and leverage their respective strengths to better deliver quality, affordability, convenience and enhanced experiences for all Singaporeans.

“The formation of FairPrice Group is guided by our objective to offer differentiated services and products to complement evolving consumers’ lifestyles. It seeks to put customers first, provide better value for all and make everything about food easy,” said Seah Kian Peng, group chief executive of NTUC Enterprise.

“The integration of the three social enterprises will provide consumers with a comprehensive range of everyday essentials including groceries and cooked food. Harnessing new technologies, the Group also seeks to provide greater convenience and enhance the customer experience. This is a culmination of our ongoing efforts to innovate and transform so that we remain relevant in serving the varied needs of our community.”

NTUC has been increasingly adopting technology and innovative concepts to create omnichannel experiences for consumers while keeping daily essentials affordable, to cope with the competition from e-commerce players like Alibaba-owned Redmart, Amazon and Honestbee.

It recently opened the FairPrice Xtra hypermarket at VivoCity that offers grocery shopping, food preparation, and dine-in services in a one-stop integrated retail space, which is modelled after Alibaba’s Hema supermarkets and Honestbee’s Habitat.

NTUC has also introduced a “Scan-and-Go” system that enables customers to shop with ease where they can scan and pay for their products at the store by accessing their FairPrice Online account through their smartphones, and skip the checkout queue.

For its food court operations, Kopitiam, which NTUC acquired at the start of 2019, opened KopiTech at Funan that featured a new concept and standard for food court dining in Singapore where patrons can place their order and pay at the self-service kiosks or via the Facebook Messenger app.

KopiTech accepts cryptocurrencies as payment. In addition, it has also launched KopiChope, Singapore’s first food court private dining reservation service.

Consumers today do not just buy products or services, but instead, invest their time and effort in understanding brands and supporting relevant causes. Singapore has recently seen the rise of new 'phyigital' malls like Funan, which embraces omnichannel through click-and-collect services, and relies heavily on technology, even operating an urban farm.

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