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Speech by Minister Chan Chun Sing at the Official Opening of FairPrice Xtra and Unity at Vivocity

Speech by Minister Chan Chun Sing at the Official Opening of FairPrice Xtra and Unity at Vivocity

Ladies and gentlemen,

1. First, let me congratulate the FairPrice team for their hard work.

2. Today, I am particularly proud about the list of innovations that NTUC FairPrice has achieved. This is not easy as the FMCG sector is a very challenging sector. FairPrice has the same set of challenges as everyone else in the retail sector. Whenever they open a new store, I will always go to the new store to see what are the new things they have done. Because just like any other retailers in Singapore, if they do not keep improving and innovating, they will be left behind and they cannot be of service to Singapore. So on that note, I congratulate the FairPrice team for coming up with so many innovations. This is the first thing that cheered me today.    

3. The second thing that cheered me are all the people with the “ReThink Retail” stickers on their clothes. Many of them are from our local enterprises. I am very proud that NTUC FairPrice has set aside a special corner for our local enterprises to share and promote their brands in this store. 

4. As I was sharing with Kian Peng, this is a very unique location with a lot of tourists and locals. This is one of the best locations besides Changi Airport for us to promote our local brands and give them a chance to succeed. So thank you FairPrice for the partnership with our SMEs and helping them to grow. 

5. As a regular ‘mystery shopper’, there is one other thing that I will check when I go to a FairPrice store - how many different countries do most of the products come from? There is a very important reason why I do that – if any one of us take a walk down any NTUC FairPrice aisle, you will find that for the same product, we will have products from all over the world. This is part of our national plan to make sure that our supply chain is resilient. This will ensure that if anything happens in any part of the world, our supplies will not be disrupted. In fact, as we speak, every day, there are a lot of disruptions to the supply chain. But for the average Singaporean, we will never feel it due to the hard work of the purchasing team who goes around looking for the best products around the world to diversify our supply chain so that our supply chains will never be disrupted by anything that happens elsewhere in the world. This is not something that is easily achieved. In many parts of the world, when something happens, we will find the shelves being emptied or the products not coming in for months. This is the third thing that I am very happy with.

6. Last but not least, if you compare this FairPrice Xtra to the first NTUC WELCOME store in Toa Payoh in the 1970s, the main difference is that the range of products has changed, and not just because we have greater access to the supply chain in the world. The range of products has changed to keep pace with the needs and aspirations of fellow Singaporeans. People ask me why is it that there is FairPrice Xtra, FairPrice Finest and so forth – they all cater to different aspirations of different groups of Singaporeans. This is how FairPrice has been able to maintain its leading position as the leading FMCG retailer in the Singapore scene. Kudos to FairPrice for continuing to innovate and keep pace with the demands of Singaporeans, helping our SMEs and local enterprises and diversifying our supply chain.

7. There is one thing that I always check on FairPrice to make sure that they will never change – that is to make sure that the prices are competitive and affordable. It gives me great pride whenever my residents tell me that the other retailers are matching FairPrice’s prices because I always ask myself – if FairPrice is no longer around today, will the other retailers charge a competitive price? That is the real question. FairPrice has a social and national mission for Singapore and Singaporeans – that is to make sure that the prices of the daily essentials and the goods that we enjoy are affordable and accessible to all Singaporeans. I think FairPrice has done pretty well all these years and this is the mission statement of FairPrice that must never change – a social enterprise that can be the pride of Singapore because it keeps prices affordable to all Singaporeans. So thank you to the FairPrice team for doing all these. I wish you all the very best.

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