I count myself knowledgeable that many of the people around me have not heard of Warehouse Club whereas I have.
But that said nothing could have prepared me for how discerning students nowadays are as shoppers.
Hailing from the East, I had never visited NTUC FairPrice Warehouse Club (Warehouse Club), which was situated in the far West. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to have the chance to bring a group of Holy Innocents’ High School (HIHS) students to Warehouse Club for a Learning Journey.
Undeterred by the slight misfortune of a malfunctioned escalator, we braved on to the entrance of Warehouse Club, where we were greeted by their friendly staff. From there they gave a short introduction to the premises and some of the features of Warehouse Club. Essentially, prices are lowered when goods are bought in bulk and these cost savings are passed on to the customers. Also, Warehouse Club housed certain brands and food not available anywhere else in Singapore.
Mr. Jed Senthil, Team Lead of Campus and Youth team of SNCF then brought us through the aisles and further explained some of the unique features of Warehouse Club, such as the walk-in Chiller. Shortly after, students were given some time to explore the store and purchase any items they so wished.
The different groups shot off, frantically grabbing products while deliberating their savings as compared to purchasing from typical FairPrice outlets. Not before long, I could see the students pushing trolleys filled with all kinds of snacks and tidbits including 12-can packs of Redondo wafer sticks. Each.
Of course, some were more frugal and spent their time just walking around, admiring the products and prices.
Thinking back, I cannot help but wonder how the costs of products offered can be further lowered, or whether it is actually possible to set up other Warehouse Club branches. Their current location of being far from the city center likely helps reduce operation costs such as space rental. Similarly, its relatively close proximity to ports and other warehouses/distribution centers would likely reduce costs as well, thus translating to savings for customers.
Hence, if NTUC FairPrice were to set up another Warehouse Club branch it would likely be in another relatively “ulu” location in Singapore – Which might not be such a bad idea actually, perhaps another one in the East? *hint hint*
However, shopping at Warehouse Club might actually be more beneficial to those who have their own private cars as it is not entirely very easy to lug bulk purchases home through public transport, especially since the current (and likely future branches if any,) would be far from the residential areas as explained above.
Still, I believe the option of having a store with such a concept is greatly welcomed in Singapore. Given the “kiasu” culture, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Singaporeans travel great distances just for promotions and savings. Case in point: Johor Bahru.
This article is brought to you by Heng Wei Sheng, Year 3 who is currently studying Bachelor of Business Administration from National University of Singapore. He likes free things (food, items, workshops, concerts, etc)