Singapore

Giant to lower prices of daily essentials by 20% for six months

From today, supermarket chain Giant will lower prices of 650 daily essentials for six months by 20 per cent on average.

It will also refresh its brand, with its 53 Singapore stores incorporating new features including in-store bakeries and Guardian pharmacies.

The price reduction is costing Giant around $17 million and is prompted by its consumer research finding that cost of living concerns are top on people's minds during the ongoing pandemic, said Dairy Farm chief executive officer for its South-east Asia food business Chris Bush yesterday.

"The one thing they told us loud and clear is they would like cheaper prices, they'd like greater value and they'd also like more stable prices, particularly on those essential products that they buy most often," he said during a media conference.

The price reductions will apply to products across Giant's own brands, fresh products and national brands like Dove.

About 2,000 new products have also been added, along with such features as $1 zones and stalls selling fried chicken.

Only its hypermarkets in Tampines and IMM will have the full range of new offerings because of space constraints.

Giant's move to make essentials more affordable follows FairPrice's price freeze of 100 house brand items, which began in March last year and will run until the end of this year.

Asked if it was influenced by FairPrice's price freeze and foray into the hypermarket format, Mr Bush said Giant's plans are based on customer feedback and not a response to any particular competitor. The closure of several of Giant's bigger stores in recent years - including those at VivoCity and Parkway Parade - are part of the group's normal business review and leasing arrangements, he added.

"Every now and again, unfortunately, we need to close some stores, but at the same time, we open a lot of stores. So I wouldn't read anything more into that."

Giant is also working on improving store operations, hygiene standards, product availability and service levels.

The $17 million it will forgo in cutting prices is largely funded from the savings amassed from higher productivity and supply chain efficiencies, Mr Bush said, declining to disclose the total cost of its rebranding exercise.

Mr Lee Yik Hun, marketing director of South-east Asia food at Dairy Farm Group, said Giant hopes to maintain the reductions beyond the six months. "The only way we can do it is to get the volume and support from our supplier partners."

CONSUMER ISSUES