Monday, April 23, 2012

Eggs on FairPrice face

I was amused to read a letter in The Straits Times' Forum Page last week when a reader said that she had "noticed that various FairPrice outlets price their products differently."

Miss Chan Wan Wen had written in to the newspaper, together with photographs as proof, saying: "The Pasar eggs sold at the Tampines Mall outlet were priced at $1.75, while those at the Eastpoint Mall outlet were selling for $1.90.

"I noticed these prices on April 9 and 11 respectively. There was no offer in either case. I don't understand how the same product can have different prices. Aren't they all sold under FairPrice? Furthermore, Pasar is a house brand. This is not the first time I have noticed such price differences for the same products in FairPrice outlets.''

                     Tampines Mall outlet                         
                                   Eastpoint Mall outlet

The reason for my feeling the way I did was that last month, FairPrice had written a long email to me in response to my January posting about its recently-opened Scotts Square outlet. (See blog, FairPrice replies to my queries on its Scotts Square outlet )

I had commented that it was illogical of FairPrice, as a co-op, to pay such high rental for the outlet in the Orchard Road area when the majority of its customers were living outside that area.

In its reply, FairPrice maintained that it was still keeping to its core mission -- moderating prices of daily essntials for Singaporeans -- and what it was selling "are the same, uniformly priced products found in any other FairPrice store regardless of retail format or location."

Well, I guess what Miss Chan found out at its two outlets will now make the co-op more careful when it next makes a statement about product pricing.

And I hope what had happened was just a one-off mistake and not an indication of price discrimination to come.

1 comment:

  1. Not only Fairprice prices according to locations, Dairy Farm/Wellcome in its various guises does the same - Jason's and Marketplace being the more expensive outlets. Same practice in HKG and SIN.

    It is in the interest of the big supermarket chains in both places to cooperate and edge out competition - remember Jimmy Lai of Apple Daily fame? He started a supermarket biz in HKG to break the cosy cartel - and didn't succeed.