Starting tonight (16 Apr) at 8pm, local supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice will include a S$3.99 service charge to all orders placed online to cover the total costs of processing, picking and packing such orders.
NTUC FairPrice in a Facebook post today said that it will also introduce “a multi-tiered delivery fee structure to provide more flexibility for shoppers to vary their basket sizes and optimise savings for their online purchases”.
Having such a delivery fee structure, said the supermarket chain, will make online shopping for groceries “accessible to more households”.
“This will be complemented by the services provided by the current extensive footprint of our brick-and-mortar stores,” NTUC FairPrice added.
NTUC FairPrice assured customers that it will adopt a “transparent pricing approach, with no hidden mark-ups on products”, noting that product prices on its online platform are the same as those in its brick-and-mortar stores.
The supermarket chain said that it has increased its manpower by around 150 staff who will be tasked “to become skilled pickers and packers”.
The increased staff capacity, said NTUC FairPrice, will enable the supermarket to up the number of delivery slots available throughout the day for customers by 25 per cent.
“We’ll continue to hire more staff in the coming weeks, and further increase our online capacity by another 30% by converting a brick-and-mortar FairPrice store into another dedicated fulfilment centre for online orders, among various other activities,” NTUC FairPrice added.
A few netizens expressed their appreciation towards NTUC FairPrice’s move to increase its delivery slots in tandem with safe distancing measures.
Many other netizens, however, pointed out that they have not been able to secure delivery slots for days, which has forced some of them to do their grocery shopping at NTUC FairPrice outlets physically.
One netizen suggested that NTUC FairPrice obtain certain items from its other warehouses to solve the issue of items going out of stock online for orders placed in certain areas.
A few netizens suggested supplementing the designated lorries with other modes of transport, including private-hire cars and taxi cabs, in order to meet the increased delivery slots.
A couple of netizens raised an issue with the S$3.99 service charge, stating that customers should not have to bear the costs of NTUC FairPrice’s purported inability to “meet/improve online demand”.
One netizen, however, said that having regularly ordered from NTUC FairPrice even before the circuit breaker measures implemented by the Government recently, the supermarket chain “has never failed”, and that the NTUC FairPrice is trying its best to meet the sudden spike in online demand for groceries.