43. Raising the (Grocer) Bar

Photo: Customers can grab wine bottles and nibbles from the supermarket shelves and enjoy them at The Grocer Bar at The Centrepoint. Source: FairPrice Group

When FairPrice Finest opened its doors at The Centrepoint in September 2022, it also unveiled a new concept – The Grocer Bar. Here, customers can unwind with a glass of wine, a cheese platter and even some freshly-shucked oysters after their grocery run. In the months since it opened, the bar proved to be so popular the number of seats expanded from just a few to more than 40.

The atmosphere is free and easy. Customers can grab bottles of wine and nibbles from the supermarket shelves, or tuck into something more substantial like grilled sausages and roast chicken from the deli section. There is also craft beer from RedDot BrewHouse’s fire hydrant-like tap, and an exclusive cocktail aptly named The Centrepoint. Palatable prices sweeten the experience. House pour wines cost $8.90 a glass, and Canadian oysters shucked to order cost $19.90 for half a dozen.

Today, FairPrice Finest has three Grocer Bars. The other two can be found at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 and The Woodleigh Mall. Each has its distinct flavour.

The one at Ang Mo Kio has bento boxes. The Woodleigh Mall bar, meanwhile, offers more full-service food options – such as Japanese bentos, grilled skewers and a pick-and-cook seafood counter where fresh seafood is cooked just the way the customer wants it. Diners can also look forward to exclusive cocktails named The Woodleigh Club and FairPrice Smash.

Ms Tan Huey Ling, General Manager of FairPrice Finest, said plans are underway to open more Grocer Bar outlets. “We are trying to make meaningful connections with our customers by keeping abreast of lifestyle changes,” she added. Talk about raising the bar.

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.