SUPERMARKET TURF WAR LEADS ONE TO OFFER FREE LORRY RIDES

Dear A.S.S. Editor

In a turf war with a difference at Jurong East, a supermarket has lodged a complaint 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.

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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.”

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.

Dylan Oh

A.S.S. Contributor

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