On Sunday (9 February), FairPrice Group CEO Seah Kian Peng took to his Facebook to clarify that the limitation that the supermarket chain imposed on essential items was done to “allow our supply chain to catch up on its deliveries to all our stores”.
Earlier that morning, NTUC FairPrice put up a notice across all its stores stating that it’s limiting each shopper to four packs of paper products (toilet paper, facial tissues, kitchen towels), two bags of rice, and four bundle packs of instant noodles. Additionally, there will also be a S$50 limit for vegetables per customer.
The supermarket chain move took place after people in Singapore were seen buying essential products in bulk following the government’s announcement of raising the DORSCON level from yellow to orange on Friday due to the latest coronavirus outbreak.
In the post, Mr Seah reassured the public that the company has enough stock for all the essential items it has imposed the limitation of purchase.
“Let me state again that we have ample stock of all these and supply is stable. We showed the media and in turn, I shared that the amount of inventory we have – 4 million kg of rice, 9 million rolls of toilet paper and 1.2 million packets of instant noodles. So, we have enough stocks,” he wrote.
He added, “We are imposing these limits to allow our supply chain to catch up on its deliveries to all our stores. We had doubled our runs but it is still not enough as the volume of products handled over the last two days are more the peak days of CNY.”
He went on to point out that the company’s supply chain and the entire team are working around the clock to catch up on deliveries to all their stores.
Elaborating further, the CEO explained that these limitations are in place for only the above mentioned four items and the “limits are deliberately set to ensure it is adequate for any household”.
Mr Seah noted that 20kg of rice can sustain a family of four up to two months, and 40 rolls of toilet paper can last them for quite a substantial amount of time.
As such he reemphasised that the limits are imposed so “no one can buy up huge quantities and hoard and deprive others as a result”.
The CEO added that upon assessing the outlets on Sunday, he realised that the buying is a lot calmer on Sunday as compared to the last two days.
“We have also called up more people to help us replenish the stocks as soon as they arrive at the stores. And from all counts, the situation today is looking like a normal busy Sunday and not like what it was the last two days,” he wrote.
At the end of the post, Mr Seah thanked all customers “who have been understanding and supportive of our moves”, and urged people to “stay calm and work through this period together as a community”.
“It is beginning to look more like a normal Sunday,” he said.