49. Walking Down the (Grocery) Aisle

Photo: Ms Serene Tan and Mr Chia Jingwei, who met at FairPrice, took their wedding photos at 100 AM’s FairPrice Finest outlet in Tanjong Pagar in 2017. Source: Courtesy of Serene Tan and Chia Jingwei

FairPrice supermarkets are known to offer many things, but few would expect a fairy-tale ending to be among them.

When Ms Serene Tan and Mr Chia Jingwei met at FairPrice, the two future managers were waiting for a Management Trainee interview. They introduced themselves and made small talk. After they both passed the interview, the conversation continued and it was not long before they realised they had briefly met at another interview years prior.

Their serendipitous encounter led the couple to develop a deeper relationship while working together, and they soon realised that they were a good match. To commemorate the place where sparks first flew between them, the couple decided to have their wedding photography done at 100AM’s FairPrice Finest outlet in Tanjong Pagar in 2017.

“It was the place where we met and got together,” said Mr Chia, 40, a Group Manager with the chain. “It is symbolic to us as working in a supermarket has been our first and only job so far.”

Mr Seah Kian Peng, then-Chief Executive Officer of NTUC FairPrice, even made a surprise appearance at the photoshoot to congratulate the happy couple.

They are not the only lovebirds to pick a FairPrice supermarket as a wedding photography location. In 2013 alone, over 30 couples chose FairPrice stores as the backdrop for their nuptial shoots. The FairPrice Finest outlet at 100 AM proved the most popular in that year, hosting 15 of the sessions. Each year, about 50 couples request to take wedding photos at one of FairPrice’s stores, hoping to give new meaning to the phrase “walking down the aisle.”

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.