FairPrice's newest store is also its largest, with features such as an in-house vegetable farm, an ice cream truck, a play castle for children and spaces to repair baggage as well as bicycles.
The 90,000 sq ft FairPrice Xtra hypermarket and Unity Pharmacy officially opened its doors yesterday. The size of two football fields, it spans two floors of VivoCity mall.
Singapore's largest retailer said the store was designed to better meet customers' changing lifestyles and needs, and provide a unique brick-and-mortar shopping experience amid stiff competition from online grocers.
Shoppers at the VivoCity outlet can have their food prepared for them - from cut vegetables to marinated meat and grilled seafood - for them to take home and cook without fuss. There are also dining areas for those who want to eat at the store while grocery shopping.
In addition, shoppers can buy loose quantities of grain, nuts, spices and pasta - instead of those prepacked in larger amounts.
NTUC FairPrice deputy CEO and head of channels Elaine Heng said a customer-centric approach was taken in developing the store: "We first look at our customers, what are their needs, their wants and how they are changing over time.
"Sustainability is a big agenda for us. All these initiatives are part of a wider whole-of-FairPrice push to minimise food waste and be more sustainable in our practices."
The hypermarket's shelves carry more than 35,000 products from around the world, including over 350 local brands. A special corner has also been set aside for local enterprises to promote their goods.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, who opened the store, welcomed the innovations and partnership with local firms.
"This is one of the best locations besides Changi Airport for us to promote our local brands and give them a chance to succeed," he said.
VivoCity is close to Sentosa, as well as the Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront, and the store has a special tourist section selling local delights, souvenirs and luggage.
Mr Chan added that the extensive array of products from around the world available on FairPrice supermarket aisles across the island is part of Singapore's plan to ensure a resilient food supply chain. "This will ensure that if anything happens in any part of the world, our supplies will not be disrupted."
He noted that FairPrice's range of products has also changed to keep pace with Singaporeans' needs and aspirations, enabling the social enterprise started by the labour movement in 1973 to maintain its position as a leading retailer.
The new store includes a small indoor hydroponic farm - where vegetables are grown and harvested - by local urban farming firm ComCrop. Said ComCrop chairman Allan Lim: "When FairPrice approached us and asked if they could have an indoor farm, we thought it was a great idea because we want to educate Singaporeans about hydroponics."
From next month, shoppers can use FairPrice's new "scan and go" mobile app to pay for items through their smartphones. It will also launch a pilot later this year where customers can buy products that are not on its shelves and have them delivered to their home.
Said Ms Heng: "In a fast-evolving retail landscape, FairPrice will continue to strengthen our core while leveraging on our capabilities to adapt and transform in serving our customers' needs."