42. Going the Xtra Mile

Photo: VivoCity’s FairPrice Xtra has dining areas where customers can enjoy sushi, freshly-grilled seafood and meats, as well as coffee, beer and even wine. Source: FairPrice Group

At first sight, it looks like any other grocery store where customers roam the aisles stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, snacks and more.

But this supermarket is indeed super. Its sheer size aside, the store has also carved out dining areas where customers can enjoy sushi, freshly-grilled seafood and meats, as well as coffee and even beer and wine.

Welcome to the FairPrice Xtra outlet in VivoCity. At over 90,000 sq ft, the two-storey store is the chain’s biggest to date. Opened on August 6, 2019, it also marked FairPrice’s first step towards reinventing its stores to meet changing customer needs and growing competition.

Realising that customers no longer saw buying groceries as a purely transactional affair, the chain has sought to make the process more experiential by transforming certain outlets into destination stores. For instance, the VivoCity branch has services such as food preparation, luggage and bicycle repairs and a play area for the little ones.

The success of the pilot VivoCity store has prompted FairPrice to come up with fresh ideas. The Xtra outlet in Parkway Parade for example, features, among other things, a cocktail bar – the first in a super market here.

Who knew grocery shopping could be Xtra fun?

Since its humble beginnings in a corner of Toa Payoh, NTUC FairPrice has become the quintessential Singaporean supermarket. The leap from a single store to a grocery giant is a tale of retail reinvention – a half-century journey that saw the cooperative confront crises and challenges, revamps and even robbers.

As it expanded and evolved, FairPrice never wavered from its core mission: to moderate the cost of living for consumers. It Takes a Great Deal - A Catalogue of FairPrice Group Stories encapsulates the birth of the consumer cooperative in 1973 and its transformation into a $4 billion food enterprise that is now called FairPrice Group.

Through 50 remarkable stories, we celebrate the people, products and places that mark significant milestones for the food retailer over the last five decades, charting its growth and successes in the past, present and into the future.