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3/29/2010

Sheng Siong, the people’s choice

Sheng Siong came into the supermarket business with a bang. It sold goods and sundries at prices that are more competitive than NTUC FairPrice. It soon gained a big market share and expanded into several markets to the relief of price conscious consumers. At last they have a choice for cheaper products. The latest foray of Sheng Siong was to buy over 5 wet markets from the HDB. There were initial fears that Sheng Siong would upgrade these wet markets like the big property developers do as their trademark modus operandi, and then everything becomes more expensive with a quality and better badge hanging on its door. This fear soon proved to be unfounded as Sheng Siong said it would keep them as they are, cheap wet market without the modern aircon and cleaner environment that come with a different price tag. The relief was a bit short lived but through no fault of Sheng Siong. It did kept to its position of not changing the wet markets to aircon markets. But the takeover of the wet markets is costly. It was reported in CNA that Sheng Siong had no choice but to increase the rentals of the stalls in the wet markets by a whopping 30%. It has to as it has to pay bank interest, maintenance fee, property tax and probably legal fee as well. There was a big outcry in cyberspace when this was announced as the cost of higher rental must surely be passed to the consumers. Some even talked of boycotting Sheng Siong. Overnight, the Robin Hood of small time consumers and housewives who need to buy their food and sundries has lost its glamour and brand name. What a shame. But business is business. Sheng Siong will soon become a bigger player, maybe a global player and providing jobs for the people. The people should be thankful to have Sheng Siong instead of feeling betrayed. Well done Sheng Siong, for the takeover. The consumers will be better off, in the long run.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Me heard this conversation;

A lady said to some of her friends that the $100 Entrance Fee to the Casino was very worth it. She declared that it was easy 'to win' with most of the gamblings(supposedly different games i think). However, some of her friends warned A that the Casino 'fang chang sian tiau da yu', meaning the Operator lures with little goodies now and later will get the people hooked(addicted0 and then makes it's kill. Sounded very logical.

It should be commonsense, or rather no folklore, that the modus operandi of businesses is always and invariably to bait the people first and skin them later. Ironical, but if You got eaten little by little by the sharks, it is already a blessing that they did not eat You up whole.

Wally Buffet said...

When you walk into a Sheng Siong "supermarket" and an NTUC fairprice supermarket, the difference is immediately palpable. One is many stalls manned by the Ah Ter and Ah Kow and collectively they want to be known as a "supermarket" and the other is a clean, well organized, well staffed, well stocked ISO certified, world class SUPERMARKET.

Me, I never ever shop at this Siong Pa Sha. Since I have come some way from my Jalan Kukoh 3 room humble beginnings, I think I am entitled to a little luxury in shopping for my food and groceries in a real supermarket.

I don't really give a fart if the difference is 5 cents or 10 cents and that's what the dumb housewives are getting.

Anonymous said...

"Sheng Siong will soon become a bigger player, maybe a global player and providing jobs for the people. "

Next time you drop by Sheng Shiong, observe the staff, listen to their accent when they speak, you'll realize that most of the staff (I estimate say 60-70%?) are actually foreigners.

Also SS' latest venture snapping up wet markets probably wouldn't have been possible if the boss' (whom PAP conferred a PBM on) son hasn't been inducted into the fami-LEE through marriage last year in Sentosa.

Aside from this little detail, SS' prices aren't all that great, many items cost the same if not higher than in NTUC, so I stopped buying from them. Support other lesser 'supermarkets' like AngMoh, MCP or Prime. If you want cheap, buy from Giant.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Let's hope Sheng Siong will not forget the small people that support his business and make him rich.

Anonymous said...

the wet market stalls association should come together and put up a plan to revamp their stalls to attract ppl. put in money to own stalls

eg.delivery to home service,cleaner environment, niche branding

they can then reap the rewards of their efforts instead of depending on the mercy of sheng siong

Anonymous said...

No wonder they are starting to get really interested in building more wet markets.

Just tender it out, collect the rent, and let the stallholders work for the landlord indirectly. They don't even have to get their hands dirty dealing with individual stallholders. Clean, clinical, and problem free. Ingenious.

Welcome to modern slavery.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Has Sheng Siong add value to the wet market to justify the 30% increase? No.

If Sheng Siong has not bought over the wet market, there will be no reason to increase the rental.

Now the buy out cost is being passed to the stall holders who will either be forced out of business or pass the cost to the consumers, without a single cent of benefit to the consumers.

Great stuff!

Wally Buffet said...

I have been thinking. No wonder this guy went from a small stall holder to a multi million dollar enterpee ner in double quick time.

Sure has lots of talent. Maybe who knows, we don't have to depend on foreign talents to run our very own people's bank. Let's give credit where credit is due, never mind whether the stallholders in his markets are happy or not. That's another issue altogether.

Anonymous said...

If Sheng Siong had not bought over the wet market...

Then the HDB will have to continue to deal with individual and some problematic stallholders.

Secondly, any rental hikes will be an issue, with 'Sin Min' newspeople in the fray, as always, and will be problematic for the HDB. In this way, its clean money, without the dirty work, and becoming an angelic landlord.

More tightening of the screws are coming.

Wally Buffet said...

According to Mr. Bean, the fall guys are the small guys. How come now it's the big guys.

I'm really confused.

Hehe.

Anonymous said...

Some are real fall guys. Some are 'kay puak toh' or pretend to be the fall guys.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

This takeover is really a sham, and shameful. No value add, raises rental, stallholders ended up paying, pass the buck to the consumers.

If Sheng Siong denies any gains, then who gains and take over for what?

But it is a good formula to make money and raising cost of living and make the consumers pay more, just be passing the baton.

Anonymous said...

A funny country, with funny people, being fed funny deals, and the funny part is they do not realise that in the end all the money goes back to the Government, directly or in this case, indirectly.

Ignorance is bliss.

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