17. Stretching Every Dollar

Photo: The “Everyday Low Price” (EDLP) scheme curates a basket of over 500 popular essential products that are priced low. Source: Samuel He

Buy more with less is a mantra at FairPrice Group, as the retailer seeks to help consumers shop smarter and save more with a plethora of discount schemes over the years.

The aim is to keep the prices of essential items affordable amid global uncertainties that drive up costs of supplies as well as increases to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). When the GST was first introduced in 1994, FairPrice cushioned the impact by absorbing the tax for a year. Between 2003 and 2007, when the GST climbed from 3 to 7 per cent, it offered discounts on essential items to offset the hikes each time. It did the same when the GST rose from 7 to 8 per cent in 2023. For six months from January, FairPrice offered a 1 per cent discount on 500 essential items.

The retailer also counters cost pressures with special schemes. When inflation surged in 2022 during the pandemic and geopolitical turmoil, FairPrice brought back the “Stretch Your Dollar” programme. It was first launched in 2008 during the global financial crisis and re-emerged in 2010 to 2011 during a downturn. The latest run, from February 2022, included a 5 per cent discount every Friday on 100 staples such as eggs, rice and milk. As inflation persisted, it launched the “Greater Value Every Day” campaign in October 2022. Prices of 50 popular daily essential items were frozen every month under the “Everyday Low Price” scheme, which curates a basket of over 500 essential products that are priced low.

“We remain committed to stretching our resources and keeping prices affordable and supplies stable, despite facing increasing operational costs brought on by rising inflation,” said Mr Vipul Chawla, Group Chief Executive Officer of FairPrice Group. It’s not a stretch to say it remains a fine balancing act to offer greater value, every day.

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.