Cheers revamps stores

Cheers, NTUC FairPrice's convenience arm, and ExxonMobil Asia Pacific yesterday launched a revamped convenience store format for Esso petrol service stations that features a new ready-to-eat range of products.

The Straits Times Online yesterday reported the meals are from local eateries such as The Soup Spoon, PastaMania and ice cream shop Udders, supplied by The Common Good Company, a consortium made up of well-known local brands.

The meals, which include Thai basil rice, beef rendang baked rice and cream of pumpkin soup, are packed in a new type of vacuum skin packaging, which is expected to preserve the flavour of the food.

NTUC FairPrice said the move is aligned with the Government's recent food services and retail industry transformation maps, which encourage innovative business formats and technology in those sectors.


Mr Seah Kian Peng, NTUC FairPrice's chief executive, said at the launch held at an Esso station along East Coast Road: "Today's consumers are time-strapped, and this means a greater demand for convenient solutions."

He added that market studies have shown an increasing popularity for ready-to-eat meals.

"Beyond greater convenience, quality of products and shopping experience have also become important aspects we must address," he said.

The refreshed retail format will debut in five Esso service stations in Singapore, including Holland Road, East Coast Road and Jurong West Avenue 1, and will be progressively rolled out to all 62 service stations islandwide over the next two years.

The stores will also feature new Japanese snacks, which are growing in popularity.

Cheers' announcement comes two weeks after its rival, 7-Eleven, said it was having a major revamp of its own.

Their stores could be up to 1.3 times larger than existing stores - about 74 sq m, or nearly the size of a badminton court.
The largest convenience store chain here will also sell freshly prepared meals.

Mr Steven Lye, chief operating officer of 7-Eleven Singapore, had told The Business Times they plan to emulate aspects of the Japanese convenience stores, which are known to be top notch.

7-Eleven plans to stock premium products, introduce seating areas, and create a new range of fresh-chilled, ready-to-eat meals delivered to the store daily.