Singapore supermarket operator NTUC FairPrice has introduced priority shopping hours for “vulnerable” members of the community to help them access vital grocery supplies while maintaining social distancing during the coronavirus crisis.
The move will allow senior citizens, pregnant women and people with disabilities to shop in the store exclusively for the first hour a store opens on every Monday. For stores trading 24 hours a day, the time reserved will be from 7am to 8am. The programme starts next Monday, March 30.
NTUC FairPrice stores have already introduced safe-distancing measures, including floor markings at checkout queues and the cessation of food samplings.
“As we continue to step up precautionary measures to adapt to the evolving Covid-19 situation, it is important to be mindful of those who are vulnerable when they shop for their daily essentials at our stores,” said Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO at FairPrice Group.
“The dedicated shopping hour for our [senior citizens] helps safeguard their well-being and provides them with more time and space. We will proactively introduce and review initiatives to better serve the needs of shoppers and protect the interest of the community during this challenging climate.”
To shop during the Priority Shopping Hour, PG members must present their PG (Pioneer Generation) Card which also entitles them to discounts under an existing scheme, when they shop on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Last year, FairPrice stores saved PG members S$4.26 million through that scheme.
Meanwhile, on the advice of Singapore’s Ministry of Health and Enterprise Singapore’s safe distancing and safety guidelines, FairPrice has introduced various measures to safeguard shoppers. These include in-store posters and announcements. The chain has stepped up cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as railings, trolleys, baskets and checkout counters and all store staff and suppliers are having their temperature taken at least twice a day.