FairPrice to hit Saigon shelves

Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice has broken open the $100 million kitty it had set aside to launch itself as a regional player and land its products on shelves across South-east Asia.

Its first port of call – after months of searching for a foreign partner – is Vietnam, where FairPrice will set up and “grow” a hypermarket chain “throughout” the country with another co-operative, the Saigon Union of Trade Co-operatives.

The first hypermarket is expected to be operational by 2012.

There is no decision yet if the joint venture, signed yesterday, will include the FairPrice name but it will carry its housebrand products as well as local and imported items.

No figures were given about the size of the deal.

For FairPrice, it represents a new income stream; for Singaporeans, it means more sources of supply and hence, more choices, according to the press release issued yesterday.

FairPrice plans to leverage on Saigon Co-op’s supermarket network for economies of scale and the latter’s loyalty programmes and large customer base.

FairPrice’s previous forays abroad – in China and Myanmar – proved unsuccessful due to “various market conditions”, said Mr Tan Kian Chew, Group CEO of NTUC FairPrice and chairman of FairPrice International.

“With the thriving economy in Vietnam and Saigon Co-op’s positive track record, we’re confident of our business venture in Vietnam,” he added.

Source: Today Online

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