Consumers who like to buy big and pay less can now do so at a mega retail store set up specifically for that purpose.
Supermarket chain FairPrice has opened a members-only retail warehouse for groceries and household goods, where products are sold in bulk at discounts of up to 20 per cent.
The double-storey, 80,000 sq ft store, named Warehouse Club, stocks more than 4,000 products including fresh and frozen food, health and beauty products, as well as electronic items.
It also carries popular housebrand items from major supermarket chains overseas such as Carrefour.
Located at the FairPrice Hub next to Joo Koon MRT station in the west, the Warehouse Club is modelled after successful members-only stores overseas, such as Costco in the United States, where deep discounts are enjoyed when buying in large quantities.
For example, a 1.6kg box of Kellogg's Coco Pops cereal costs $17.80 at the Warehouse Club. At FairPrice's regular supermarkets, the equivalent weight - four 400g boxes - costs $21, as advertised yesterday. That is a discount of about 15 per cent.
There are also special deals for selected items from time to time. For example, a carton of 24 bottles of Snapple juice drink with an expiry date next month retailed for $12, or 50 cents per bottle, yesterday. A bottle usually costs about $2.40 in supermarkets.
Prices at Warehouse Club can be compared with those at hypermarket chains in Johor Baru, such as Aeon Big and Tesco, but it is difficult to say conclusively which side has lower prices. This is because some items cost less in Singapore while others are cheaper across the Causeway.
For instance, Drypers Wee Wee Dry diapers retail at $44.90 for three packs, or about $15 each, at the Warehouse Club. The same product costs RM29.95 (S$11.36) per pack on special offer at Aeon Big, as listed online yesterday.
A 1.4kg box of Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal costs $17.80 at the Warehouse Club. The equivalent weight - four boxes of 350g of the same cereal - usually costs RM59.96, or $22.74, as advertised on Tesco's website yesterday.
FairPrice deputy chief executive of operations Gerry Lee said the company has been progressively introducing various retail formats to cater to the changing lifestyles of its customers.
The Warehouse Club strategy "aims to provide our members with quality products at the best value, through large discounts with bulk buys, multi-packs and exclusive brands", Mr Lee said.
There are plans to offer a home delivery option, he added, without giving a timeline.
Exclusive brands available at the store include Costco's housebrand Kirkland Signature and Australian hand towel brand Veora.
Only registered members can purchase from the Warehouse Club. A one-year membership costs $35 for NTUC union members and $50 for non-union members.
Consumers can register at www.warehouseclub.com.sg and make payment at any FairPrice store, or apply at a counter in the Warehouse Club. Nearly 12,000 people have signed up since registration started in May.
The store is open from 10am to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 9.30pm on weekends.
Among those who registered as a member yesterday was retiree Gregory Cheong, 62, who bought Kirkland Signature nuts.
"The variety here is not as wide, compared to Costco (in the US)," he said. "I don't mind buying more items... I like to snack."
For housewife Oh Wan Yee, 37, the bulk packs suit the needs of her family of five, which includes three boys. She bought a carton of 15 packets of biscuits and three packs of diapers yesterday.
"Things here are cheap. I don't need to wait until there are special offers to buy them," she said.
This article was first published on Dec 9, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.