No significant changes in customer traffic since stricter Covid-19 measures announced: FairPrice

SINGAPORE – FairPrice has not seen “any significant changes in customer traffic” since tighter Covid-19 measures were announced, said a spokesman for the supermarket chain on Thursday (May 6).

“We are closely monitoring the situation and would like to assure Singaporeans that we have sufficient stocks for daily essentials and affordably priced for everyone,” the spokesman added, in response to queries from The Straits Times.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind shoppers to purchase only what they need, and there is no need to stockpile items.”

Similarly, the recent closure of Singapore’s border to India has also not led to “any significant disruption overall” to FairPrice’s supplies.

The spokesman added that FairPrice is diversifying its food sources and stockpiling essentials to provide a buffer for alternative supply sources, if needed.

“FairPrice sources from over 100 countries around the world including India, which makes up less than 1 per cent of our total supply of food,” said the spokesman.

On Tuesday, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 announced stricter restrictions, including reducing the size of social gatherings from eight to five people.

High-risk settings, such as indoor gyms and indoor fitness studios, will also have to close when the new measures take effect from Saturday.

In February last year, shortly after the Ministry of Health raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition level from yellow to orange, a wave of panic buying was seen at supermarkets across Singapore.

Many stocked up on instant noodles and toilet paper, and long queues formed at supermarkets, prompting some of the chains, including FairPrice, to set purchase limits on essential items.

During a visit to FairPrice group’s supply chain business unit in Joo Koon on Thursday, President Halimah Yacob said the Government will continue to work with businesses and countries to ensure that there is no disruption to the supply of essential products to Singapore.

President Halimah Yacob (right), accompanied by Mr Seah Kian Peng (third from right) during her visit to FairPrice Group Supply Chain Business Unit at Benoi Distribution Centre, on May 6, 2021. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Staff packing online orders at FairPrice’s supply chain business unit in Benoi Distribution Centre, on May 6, 2021. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

To help boost the supermarket chain’s supply chain resilience, FairPrice has leveraged technology such as automation, she added.

Data is also used to predict and prevent problems that are likely to arise, and resolve them before they become major issues and disrupt the supply chain, Madam Halimah said.

During the visit, the President also expressed her appreciation to the supply chain workers, whom she said are often forgotten as essential front-liners amid the pandemic.

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