FairPrice, the largest supermarket chain in Singapore, will see many of its store employees work on the Chinese New Year holiday to serve the needs of its customers.
According to an article in The Strait Times, the retail giant recently announced that it will keep 138 of its stores open on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Most retailers would be closed on Chinese New Year’s Day but FairPrice decided to keep 90 percent of its stores operating on that day. However, not all of the stores will operate on full normal schedule. Some will close earlier than the regular hours.
This supermarket chain is a cooperative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). It has 100 supermarkets and more than 50 outlets, with several individual outlets using different business models. Some operate as 24-hour convenience stores, while others function as up-market fresh produce and food stores. It also has hypermarket stores that sell electronics, clothing and household merchandise.
Chinese New Year operating hours
The main bulk of the stores—106 in total—will operate until 5:00 p.m. Twenty-four other stores will operate fully for 24 hours. Seven stores will operate from 7:00 a.m. until the regular closing hours. Meanwhile, the store at the Changi Airport Terminal 3 will operate normally just like on regular days. That is a total of 138 stores in the entire city-state.
Some FairPrice stores will also operate on extended hours a few days before the Chinese New Year. More than 50 percent of the stores will extend one hour starting February 8. The 61 24-hour stores will also continue to operate at full capacity.
On February 14, the eve of the Chinese New Year, the FairPrice will also have 20 additional stores that will operate for 24 hours to address the needs of families busy preparing for annual reunion dinners. All 147 stores will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The regular store hours will resume on February 18, the third day of the Chinese New Year.
On the other hand, the FairPrice online shop will continue its deliveries between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for the entire duration of the Chinese New Year festivities, from February 15 to February 18. However, customers are advised to post their orders before the cut-off periods mentioned on the website. The regular delivery timings will resume on February 19.
Continuous customer service
The CEO of FairPrice, Seah Kian Peng, explained to The Strait Times about the decision to keep 90 percent of the stores open on Chinese New Year’s Day.
“We want to ensure our customers have convenient access to groceries and festive goodies during this festive period. Extending our operating hours will help to alleviate the expected high customer traffic within the stores while also catering to last-minute shopping. Beyond this, we serve the different ethnicities of residents, including people who do not celebrate Chinese New Year, by keeping the bulk of our stores open over the public holiday,” Peng elaborated.
FairPrice’s decision to extend operations during the holidays also reflect the Singaporeans’ pride on having excellent work ethics and Confucian values. The supermarket’s commitment to serving during the Lunar New Year comes as no surprise with more than 74 percent of Singapore’s population having Chinese ethnicity. This and the nation’s consumerist culture—one of the main driving forces of the vibrant local economy of the city—will likely benefit the company in terms of sales on that particular holiday.
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