FairPrice puts per-customer limits on some items after Malaysia lockdown sparks demand spike
SINGAPORE — NTUC FairPrice on Tuesday (March 17) introduced per-customer limits on products such as toilet paper, eggs and instant noodles in response to increased levels of grocery-buying here at some of the supermarket chain's outlets.
SINGAPORE — NTUC FairPrice on Tuesday (March 17) introduced per-customer limits on products such as toilet paper, eggs and instant noodles in response to increased levels of grocery-buying here at some of the supermarket chain's outlets. This was after Malaysia announced a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19.
In a media statement, FairPrice said that several of its stores saw “high traffic” following Malaysia’s Monday evening announcement but said that buying was more orderly and responsible than it was after the Feb 7 decision to lift Singapore’s risk assessment level of Covid-19 from Dorscon level Yellow to Orange.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reassured Singaporeans that the flow of goods and cargo would continue between Singapore and Malaysia during the neighbouring country’s lockdown.
From Tuesday, each FairPrice customer may buy a maximum of:
Four packs of any combination of paper products, including toilet paper, facial tissues and kitchen towels
Two packs of any combination of instant noodles or pasta
Two bags of rice
S$30 worth of vegetables
S$30 worth of fresh poultry
FairPrice said that the new limits are a precautionary measure to discourage reselling and to ensure that more customers have access to these items.
It previously placed similar purchase restrictions on daily essential items, in an effort to curb hoarding and panic-buying in early February.
The supermarket chain said that it regularly works with suppliers from various countries to ensure that Singapore’s supply of daily essentials is stable and affordable.
“The co-operative imports from over 70 countries around the world. Hence, product categories from Malaysia are complemented by similar categories from other countries,” it said.
It also practises stockpiling and has been increasing stocks of certain products in the last few months.
To meet the recent higher demand from shoppers, it said that it is “stepping up its delivery runs from its multiple warehouses located in Singapore to stores to minimise inconvenience to customers”.
And in a statement to the media on Tuesday, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that Singapore has long prepared for a scenario where supply chains from Malaysia might be disrupted.
To respond to such a situation, Singapore has stockpiles of foods such as rice, noodles, meat, vegetables and eggs for months to come, and also diversifies its overseas food sources, he said.
“This combination of stockpiling and local production will allow us time to bring in alternative supplies should our usual supply lines be disrupted,” Mr Chan said.
Related topicsCovid-19 coronavirus panic buying Malaysia food security
Read more of the latest in