SINGAPORE - Servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) can now purchase military gear from online marketplace Lazada, with the debut of SAF's eMart on the platform.
They can save on online delivery costs, but eMart credits, which are issued to every serviceman, cannot be used on Lazada as customers have to pay with their debit or credit cards.
Lifestylemart was launched on Tuesday under a collaboration between Lazada Singapore and SAF's Combat Service Support Command. The two inked a memorandum of understanding at Lazada's headquarters in Bras Basah on Tuesday, making SAF's products more easily available.
Currently, Lifestylemart on Lazada sells 20 military products. These include a backpack with pixelised pattern, camouflage cream and insect repellent, which are considered essential military items. More items will be added.
Previously, full-time national servicemen (NSFs) and operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) could either purchase the items physically at SAF stores, known as eMarts, or online via the NS Portal.
The physical stores are located in The Chevrons in Jurong East and Safra in Punggol. Stores are also available in various SAF camps.
To make online purchases via the NS Portal, servicemen are required to log in with their Singpass and pay a flat delivery fee of $10.50.
However, delivery costs will be a lot cheaper through Lazada, which works with several delivery partners, including Ninja Van. A Straits Times check on Lifestylemart showed that its delivery fee was $1.49.
Mr Loh Wee Lee, chief executive of Lazada Singapore, said the partnership offers servicemen greater convenience while allowing SAF to reach out to more consumers.
"Many of our NSmen - 350,000 of them - have a day job and play the roles of a husband and father. At the same time, they need to play the role of an active serviceman. So what we do will help make things much easier for them," he said.
Brigadier-General Terry Tan, commander of the Combat Service Support Command, said that the partnership provides the SAF with the opportunity to learn from commercial industry partners, citing how in times of crisis, the SAF could work with these partners more seamlessly.
He added that more collaborations with other e-commerce partners are in the pipeline.
NSman Alexander Ho, 26, welcomed the move, which he said would make preparing for yearly in-camp training more convenient.
"I usually travel all the way to Safra Punggol from my home in Yishun when I need to buy things for reservist because the delivery charge is very expensive.
"It is important to spend your eMart credits wisely on more expensive purchases like combat boots. I don't mind using my own money on other in-camp necessities as they tend to be cheaper," said the inventory officer.