Sheng Siong supermarket is truly impressive. After announcing an additional one month salary for its employees, it went around neighbourhoods quietly giving donations at wakes out of kindness. This is setting the bar way too high for competitor NTUC FairPrice supermarket which is already being accused of raising its prices during COVID-19.
In April 2020, Sheng Siong decided to reward its staff with an additional month of bonus after it had a net jump in profit in Q1 of the year. That’s not all. Two months later, netizen Caleb Low wrote on Facebook about his discovery that a Sheng Siong staff slipped $200 into the money collection box at his wife’s grandmother’s wake.
Apparently, Sheng Siong has been offering contributions at funerals near their stores for 30 years already to keep the kampung spirit alive. This is a supermarket chain that believes in giving and sharing its gains. Before, COVID-19 it was rewarding customers with big prizes in The Sheng Siong Show which Singaporeans are all so familiar with. All this while keeping its prices low for customers.
Now the same cannot be said for NTUC FairPrice as it looks unlikely that it can rise to the high standards set by Sheng Siong. NTUC FairPrice, a government-linked company that has also seen increase in business during panic-buying episodes, has other ideas about what it plans to do with its profits: giving staff a fat bonus is certainly not one of them. Customers have noticed that some items in FairPrice supermarkets became more expensive during COVID-19. This is simply not living up to its name at all and they should consider changing it.
FairPrice has lots to learn from Sheng Siong about humility and having a heart for Singaporeans.