TL;DR – NTUC FairPrice has been doing good.
So recently, Sheng Siong announced that it will reward its staff with an additional month of salary after the supermarket operator saw a 49.9% jump in net profit for its first quarter, as compared with a year ago.
While there are people who commended Sheng Siong for sharing profits with its workers, there are also those who questioned what the other supermarkets – ahem, NTUC FairPrice – are doing.
Well, judging from the questions people are asking, it is quite sad that nobody seems to ever remember or care about the good that NTUC FairPrice has been doing all these years.
Having endearingly referred NTUC FairPrice as “NTUC” almost all my life, I feel almost obliged to fend for the trusty grocery retailer for some weird reason.
Moderating cost of living for Singaporeans
To help Singaporeans manage the rising cost of living, NTUC has not only introduced its own range of Housebrand products, but it has also pledged to hold the prices of 100 Housebrand daily essentials until 30 June 2020.
In other words, for as long as NTUC FairPrice is around, you can rest assured that you can always have FairPrice as your benchmark whenever you need to compare prices for the best deals.
Extending additional cost savings to senior citizens
Senior citizens from the Pioneer and Merdeka Generation are entitled to a 3% discount every Monday and Wednesday.
For senior citizens who are 60 and above, they get to enjoy an additional 2% discount every Tuesday.
Giving back to the Community
As part of its DNA and social commitment to do good for the community, FairPrice continues to reach out to different segments of the community through various initiatives every year.
Besides setting up a registered charity known as the NTUC FairPrice Foundation, the supermarket has also worked closely with its community partners and social service organisations to support various charitable causes.
To name a few, there’s the We Care for families b’coz U Care initiative through which supports low-income families under the NTUC-U Care Fund, the FairPrice Share-A-Textbook project where textbooks are collected and redistributed to underprivileged families.
The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift project is also another long-standing community project that NTUC FairPrice has supported since 2000. Beyond financial sponsorship, the supermarket has extended its support by providing physical stores and digital channel, FairPrice On, as convenient platforms for the collection and distribution of groceries to beneficiaries.
NTUC FairPrice has also been distributing dates and beverages in support of Muslim customers over the Ramadan period.
More recently, NTUC FairPrice has pledged a donation of up to $500,000 to help five organisations in need, namely, Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, Metta Welfare Association, Assisi Hospice, Touch Community Services and Food from the Heart, through online grocery orders.
FairPrice’s “Singaporeans first” recruitment policy
As a social enterprise of the Labour Movement, FairPrice’s recruitment policy has always been to hire Singaporeans first, to maintain a primarily local workforce.
In fact, more than 80% of NTUC FairPrice staff are Singapore citizens!
I mean, we all want our fellow Singaporeans to be prioritised over others, right?
Going the extra mile for the under-served & un-served markets
To allow the budget-sensitive population to have easy access to the good value daily essentials, NTUC FairPrice has also launched the FairPrice Shop.
These FairPrice Shops are minimart-sized outlets located near the homes of lower-income families, that offer customers a smaller but more affordable range of products, including a FairPrice housebrand, Value Fresh.
Bringing groceries closer during COVID-19 circuit breaker
As recent as last month, NTUC FairPrice has also rolled out an initiative called FairPrice on Wheels which allows residents in selected areas to buy groceries without venturing too far from home during the extended COVID-19 “circuit-breaker” period.
Mind you, these are new innovations that cost money to develop and implement.
Undoubtedly, Sheng Siong should be lauded for treating its staff well. But to say NTUC FairPrice isn’t “doing anything” is not quite fair. If whatever listed above, including the times where NTUC FairPrice has risen to the occasion ain’t considered “doing anything”, then I am not sure what is it anymore.