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NTUC FairPrice's Cheers named Convenience Store of the Year - Singapore in Retail Asia Awards 2023

Through technology adoption, expanded product offerings, and serving underserved customers, Cheers has become the go-to destination for quick top-ups in Singapore.

Cheers, a convenience store chain part of NTUC FairPrice Co-operative Ltd, has been recognised as the Convenience Store of the Year - Singapore in the prestigious Retail Asia Awards 2023. The award acknowledges Cheers and its remarkable transformation into the convenience store of the future. By embracing technology, expanding its product offerings, and reaching underserved customers, Cheers has positioned itself as the go-to destination for quick top-ups in Singapore.

Established in 1998, Cheers has grown to operate over 170 stores across the island, providing Singaporeans with greater accessibility and convenience. Now, as Cheers celebrates its 25th anniversary, it embarks on a significant transformation to become the convenience store of the future, offering an enhanced shopping experience to its customers.

One of the key factors driving Cheers' transformation is its dedication to harnessing technology. Through innovative collaborations, Cheers has pioneered the concept of autonomous stores. In partnership with Visa, Cheers introduced the first autonomous store at Our Tampines Hub, utilising computer vision, shelf weight sensors, and a user-friendly app. This groundbreaking technology allows customers to shop with no queues, no checkout, and just walk out.

The success and excitement generated by the autonomous store prompted Cheers to expand this to create the first-ever hybrid manned-unmanned concept to serve students at educational institutions. These autonomous stores have quickly achieved profitability, serving snack and drink top-ups to over 50,000 students monthly.

To provide a seamless checkout experience across all stores, Cheers introduced LitePOS, a smarter, faster, and more flexible cloud-based POS solution. This agile system enables payment via the FairPrice app, integrating it with the broader FairPrice ecosystem. Whether it's self-checkout or manned counters, the new system offers increased flexibility for staff and improves overall productivity.

Cheers has also expanded its product offerings to delight customers and meet their evolving needs. The convenience store chain has revamped its in-store offerings, adding fresh produce, in-store bakeries, and healthier convenience foods that are not commonly found in convenience stores. Collaborating with renowned celebrity chef Justin Quek, Cheers introduced ready-to-eat meals specially created for its customers. These initiatives, which cater to Singaporeans who are resuming their pre-COVID routines and returning to offices by providing them with a range of grab-and-go meal options, have accounted for more than $1m in sales.

Moreover, Cheers has focused on reaching underserved customers by expanding its store network. This includes opening new FairPrice Xpress stores in condominiums and increasing store footprints in educational institutions and residential estates. Cheers has also embraced app-based delivery services by partnering with GrabMart and FoodPanda, bringing the convenience store experience directly to shoppers' smartphones. The rapid development of the quick commerce channel resulted in doubled sales from 2020 to 2022. Customers have embraced the convenience of online delivery, leading to a nearly 50% growth in basket value.

Apart from driving business transformation, Cheers is also committed to building a sustainable business. All Cheers stores have introduced FairPrice Group’s “No Plastic Bag” initiative to drive the sustainable consumption agenda and encourage a shift towards more sustainable habits and lifestyles. This initiative, which was expanded to all Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores and 11 FairPrice supermarkets, saved over 57 million plastic bags in 2022. 

The Retail Asia Awards is presented by Retail Asia Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's exceptional products or initiatives in the retail industry, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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