Turf warfare over supermarket business in Jurong

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(PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao)

At Jurong East, a supermarket lodges a compliant that a convenience store located at Jurong west has “crossed the boundary” to Jurong East by distributing flyers and providing free shuttle services, causing them to lose 30 per cent of profits.

The main customers to the supermarket, situated at Toh Guan Road in Jurong East, are migrant workers, according to Ms Mo Mei Lian, 43, owner of the store. She told Lianhe Zaobao since last month their rival reached out to the workers at their dormitory areas. On 23 August, it came to their attention that the new mart distributed flyers just outside workers’ dormitory. On 10 September, they were surprised that their rival was offering free lorry rides for workers to visit their store at Jurong West.

A quick look at the flyers that were distributed revealed that the rival store located at Penjuru Recreation Centre Migrant Workers’ centre sells fresh meat and groceries at extremely low price.

“The flyer also advertises that the free shuttle runs to and from their store. The business in the region has been blatantly undercut by them,” complained Ms Mo, “their rental rate is much lower than ours by $35,000. This is truly unfair.”

The store fetching customers and carrying groceries for them (PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao)

She also said that the rival store offered call-booking services for customer pick-ups. Ms Mo expressed that her business has been critically affected, with 30 per cent loss incurred in a month. “They would fetch the workers at least twice to thrice on a weekly basis.”

“In fact, our store gives already cheap offers, with one sack of 25kg rice sold at $31, 3 melons at $1, 3 cucumbers at $0.50. The rival still deliberately offers markdowns.”

Since then, Ms Mo has submitted a feedback to the management office at the building that houses the rival store.

According to Lianhe Zaobao, upon receiving the complaint, the store has stopped shuttle services.

37 COMMENTS

  1. This is competition. If you do not move with time is time to move out. Customer will choose. Unless you are protected like NETs with no innovation and still being taken care. They should be out the door many years ago

    • totally agree man. what’s wrong with open and fair competition if it benefits the man on the street?

  2. I go all around island wide to shop for my electrical appliances, I don’t see courts or harvey norman complain about it?

    With your complain now, even more people aware of their cheaper price . More will flock there soon.

  3. This website doesn’t understand competition. That is why it thinks such reporting is useful. If competition is illegitimate, then why don’t you cover reporting on all free shuttle offered by shopping malls to HDB estates and MRT stations.

  4. Singapore has become “Ultra Competive”! This is some of the areas where “Stress” is developed. Stress bring lots of unhappiness and thus many Singaporeans are basically not happy. Perhaps we are going too far in the “Productivity” quest? I don’t know. Just thinking aloud.

  5. It’s called providing excellent service.
    In Singapore, you can’t succeed in business if you are not a crony of the ruling party which made sure the rules are written in their favor.

  6. I think some minister or minister of state said before that rental is only a small portion of a business’ costs. So why is this JE supermarket owner kpkb about their rental being $35,000 more a month?

  7. Nothing wrong, consumers always try to save money on purchases, what more if they are foreign workers. An extra dollar save can convert to lots of their foreign currency. As the saying goes, If you can’t beat them, join them..

  8. Hey, this is pure business tactics. If you can’t match your rival’s prices don’t complain. Sit down, analyse and find a solution. Are you aware that workers’ canteens at bus interchanges sell coffee at 90cts a cup while nearby coffeeshops sell at $1.20 or more?

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