FairPrice, Grab launch subscription programme offering discounts on groceries and transport

(From left) Grab Group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan, NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing and NTUC Fairprice CEO Seah Kian Peng posing at the Score subscription programme, on March 19, 2018.
(From left) Grab Group CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan, NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing and NTUC Fairprice CEO Seah Kian Peng posing at the Score subscription programme, on March 19, 2018. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Want to save about $100 on Grab rides a month and another $130 a year at FairPrice supermarkets? A membership programme launched on Monday (March 19) promises these savings.

FairPrice and ride-hailing service Grab have teamed up to launch the Score subscription programme, which offers consumers rebates on supermarket purchases and discounts on Grab rides.

The FairPrice-Grab membership scheme brings to mind other programmes such as Lazada's LiveUp, which gives users rebates and discounts for RedMart, Netflix, Taobao Collection and Uber services, to name a few.

Through Score, members can enjoy benefits such as a 5 per cent rebate on supermarket purchases above $100, and a 20 per cent discount on Grab rides, capped at $4 a trip and 30 redemptions a month.

The programme is priced at $29.99 for the first year and $49.99 for the second.

FairPrice and Grab say the second-year fee is higher because they expect to rope in more partners to provide other benefits and services to members, although both parties did not provide details.

A survey was conducted by NTUC Link, the social enterprise managing the Plus consumer loyalty rewards programme, last year among 1,000 consumers between the ages of 20 and 40.

It found that groceries and transport were the top two services respondents wanted to enjoy benefits on through a membership service.

Score was launched at a FairPrice outlet in Lorong 4 Toa Payoh by secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Chan Chun Sing, FairPrice chief executive Seah Kian Peng and Grab group chief executive Anthony Tan.

Mr Chan said: "Through this collaboration, we hope that both groups of customers will benefit... When they consume a product and service from either Grab or FairPrice, they will get the benefits of this bigger network."

He added: "In today's world, truly, we are no longer just competing as separate individual enterprises... The more we are able to network our services together, the more we are able to provide value-add to all our customers."

Mr Seah said: "Progressively, Score will be further developed as we collaborate with other industry leaders to provide a comprehensive service with different offerings to complement customers' lifestyle."

Mr Amos Tan, a Singapore Polytechnic senior lecturer in marketing and retail, said that if a company has been in the market for some time, the customer base is likely saturated.

"The membership programme will allow FairPrice and Grab to tap each other's clientele and expand their reach," he added.

While groceries and transportation are different services, they are daily essentials, said Mr Tan.

"As long as it resonates with the targeted audience and their lifestyles, it will work. If this model is successful, they can add more partners," he added.

However, Assistant Professor Yang Nan, of the National University of Singapore Business School's strategy and policy department, said he does not see synergy between ride-hailing and groceries under the Score partnership.

"A closer look at the rebates and benefits suggests that two separate (benefit) programmes are simply stacked together," said Prof Yang.

Referring to LiveUp, Prof Yang said: "The rationale behind that consortium may be that they share the tech-savvy Generation X as their main customers. What do Grab and FairPrice have in common?"

For Score, he suggests more cross-promotion, for example, a discounted Grab ride for members if they spend a certain amount at a FairPrice outlet.

Asked whether Score will take off, Assistant Professor Elison Lim, from the Nanyang Business School’s marketing and international business division, said that both FairPrice and Grab already offer similar rebates and discounts via their own initiatives independently, and consumers may be unsure about how the new programme is different.

Prof Lim said: “Score appears to be targeting heavy FairPrice/Grab users, offering rebates for amounts above $100 in a single FairPrice receipt and a discount for up to 30 Grab rides per month only after one has completed four rides.

“For consumers who fall into this category, with routine spending on groceries and rides, they will be able to see the savings they can have from this subscription,” she added.

The first-year Score membership is priced at a promotional rate of $18 until May 18. To sign up, consumers can visit www.scoresg.com