Brand Review: NTUC Fairprice Supermarkets
The first NTUC Fairprice Supermarket opened in 1973 as part of the labour movement’s effort to moderate the cost of living in Singapore. There are now a total of 120 outlets in the country, made up of FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra. However, supermarkets such as Cold Storage and Giant now offer extremely competitive prices. We wanted to gauge how NTUC Fairprice Supermarkets were seen by consumers and assess how they stood up against their competitors. By using advanced video app and text analysis software, we were able to capture and process the opinions of many consumers in just 60 seconds
Generally, the people of Singapore had an extremely positive perception of the NTUC brand. Most consumers said that there was a NTUC Fairprice Supermarket local to their house, which made it a convenient place to do their weekly grocery shop. In addition, most NTUC Fairprice supermarkets have flexible opening hours, which appealed to many members of our panel.
‘It is easily available in most parts of Singapore, so if you need something you can just pop down to your local store’ (Joyce, 39, Singapore)
‘I really like the Fairprice Express and Home Delivery Service’ (Geraldine, 25, Singapore)
‘The opening hours are very flexible. The one near me is open 24 hours’ (Rubin, 36, Singapore)
‘It opens earlier that other supermarkets, which really appeals to me because my shifts start early’ (Zara, 23, Singapore)
Our research showed that customers of NTUC Fairprice were particularly impressed with the quality of the produce that they sold. A number of respondents felt that the quality of fresh products, including fruit, vegetables and meat, exceeded the standard that was sold at other supermarkets. They also commented on the wide variety of products sold at NTUC Fairprice, ranging from fresh food and pantry items to electrical appliances and clothing.
‘It’s the kind of place where you know you can trust the quality of the products’ (Swetha, 23, Singapore)
‘The quality of food is much better’ (Muhammad, 23, Singapore)
Moreover, a number of the panel commented on the high level of customer service that they had experienced in the supermarkets. They noted how the staff were welcoming, approachable and always on hand to help customers find products that they were unable to locate themselves. Since introducing self-check-out systems in many of their stores, they have also been able to significantly reduce waiting time for customers.
‘If you can’t find anything, the staff are happy to show you where to find the items you need’ (Aashiq, 24, Singapore)
‘What I enjoy most about Fairprice is the self-checkout machines, as it means I don’t have to queue up’ (Shaun, 32, Singapore)
Some of the responses even echoed the mission behind opening the stores – the notion that NTUC Fairprice Supermarkets supports and is a part of the community. The panel noted a number of community initiatives that Fairprice has taken an active part in, such as the Clean and Green scheme and the offering a Senior Citizens’ discount.
‘Fairprice is the people’s supermarket’ (Kim Yam, 54, Singapore)
‘They support the Clean and Green scheme by encouraging us to bring our own bags’ (Rajen, 50, Singapore)
However, our research showed that the regular offers and discounts at NTUC Fairprice was what consumers loved most about the brand. As well as making regular reductions on products, the supermarkets run weekly discounts, issue coupons in the newspaper and offer a members card which gives customers a discount every time they shop.
‘They do very good with the house brands, as they offer a lot of reductions. They also do weekly promotions’ (Christopher, 30, Singapore)
‘They have lots of offers and a good rewards scheme, which is what I think makes them different to other supermarkets’ (Kabila, 20, Singapore)
Where could NTUC Fairprice Improve?
Despite intending to moderate the cost of living in Singapore by offering lower prices, some people still thought that NTUC Fairprice was more expensive than other supermarkets. Therefore, the company could improve their brand offering by lowering some of their prices.
‘Fairprice Supermarket is quite expensive’ (Dennis, 27, Singapore)
‘It’s not really affordable unless you are a member’ (Cheryl, 30, Singapore)
In addition, others felt that the supermarket would benefit from selling a wider range of products, particularly international goods.
‘Fairprice could do better by offering more choice of international products’ (Swetha, 23, Singapore)
‘It doesn’t offer a wide range of fish, meat and Halal products as Giant’ (Wan, 29, Singapore)
Lastly, another group of consumers mentioned that the stores looked slightly outdated. They suggested that the interiors were re-furnished and the logo was re-designed to adopt a modern look for the brand.
‘They could upgrade the aesthetics of the supermarket, which will appeal to a lot of customers, as it will look more tidy’ (Esther, 19, Singapore)
‘They could improve their logos’ Samsuri, 51, Singapore)
Our research showed that NTUC Fairprice Supermarkets are seen positively by the vast majority of consumers in Singapore. When most consumers compared NTUC Fairprice to the other main supermarkets in the country, they were confident that the quality of the produce was superior and that the offers, particularly for members, were plentiful. Whilst many were satisfied by the in-store prices, some still considered Fairprice to be a bit more expensive than they would like. That said, the results of our research clearly indicated that NTUC Fairprice is the preferred supermarket for a large proportion of consumers in Singapore.