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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Keeping Cooperatives Inclusive

The setting up of FairPrice Shop reflects, in a most basic way, the core mission of NTUC FairPrice Cooperative, set up over four decades ago to help tame the cost of living and fight profiteering. The no-frills stores are to serve smaller households and those with tight budgets, like residents of one- to three-room flats in Henderson, Boon Lay, Ang Mo Kio and Jurong East. Lower overheads arising from a narrower range of products - most-shopped items offering greater value - mean lower prices which will help those who need to stretch their grocery dollars. This is welcome news for households made up of just seniors. Numbering 82,600 currently, this group is expected to mushroom by 2030. The move to offer them and others greater convenience and affordability underscores the social orientation of Singapore's largest grocery retailer.

FairPrice caters to all and sundry by offering as many as 20,000 products, from rice to wines. Like the nation's much-loved hawker centres, its pervasive network of stores offers spaces where people from all walks of life - adding up to 430,000 shoppers daily - can mingle. Over time, the supermarket chain created other outlets like FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra, FairPrice Xpress and Cheers to serve different demographic segments. Its latest move shows that it has not lost sight of those occupying the lower rungs of society as well.

Read the rest at The Straits Times


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