New to the Vivocity mall in southern Singapore is a spanking new hypermarket operated by NTUC Fairprice. It is the largest FairPrice Xtra store and Unity Pharmacy outlet in Singapore to date. It spans the size of two football fields, over 90 thousand square feet of retail space over 2 floors. Let’s check it out with a walk around.
Notably, the basement was previously occupied by a Giant Hypermart operated by the Dairy farm group. News of anchor tenant Giant hypermarket moving out came very much of a surprise. Their exit from Vivocity similar saw the departure of Cold storage and Guardian pharmacies on the first floor, as well as the Giant anchor tenant.
Same but Different
With this mega Giant outlet gone, this leaves only branches at Suntec city and their flagship retail store in Tampines as their biggest stores. Furthermore, the entire unit was closed for extensive refurbishment for about half a year end last year to mid this year, before opening recently. Noticeably, this Fairprice establishment at its core, is still a food supermarket. Fairprice touts this Xtra hypermarket outlet carrying over 35,000 products under one roof.
Moreover, the NTUC outlet itself spots a very similar layout to that of its Giant outlet predecessor. You enter from the first floor entrance through a Unity Pharmacy (previously a Guardian pharmacy) into the hypermarket pass a couple of self-checkout counters.
Non-food items on upper floor
The outlet does appear rather sparse and noticeably stock fewer items on sale than the Giant hypermarket it replaces. Notably, only half of the upper first floor is dedicated to non-food products. Examples includes a laughably small Toy section, Household electronics such as Televisions, blenders and ovens.
Fancy a new TV, fan or even Air-conditioning? this outlet have you stocked. Though if you are into electronics, I would recommend the better choices and selections at the Best Denki store upstairs on level 2 within the same mall.
Despite a smaller store selection, Fairprice has taken steps to spice up and differentiate this new flagship outlet with new interesting shopping options and services.
For instance, is an extensive sports section comprising of a sizable bicycle and swim wear selections. Also you find affordable sports attires, such as those by FBT as well as travel (luggage selections). There are luggage repair services offered here.
You have a larger health and wellness care section, but a comparatively smaller household, toys and clothing section. There is also a pet care section catering to the increasing market demand for pet owners too.
Still a food supermarket at heart
While Giant previously had only food products on the lower basement floor, you can see a higher ratio of food products on the upper first floor. Notably, there is more emphasis on food products at the NUTC here. Also, heavy good such as rice sacks and other dried products such as sauces, noodles and pasta can be similar found on this upper floor.
There is also an International foods section stocking a mix of Japanese and Korean tidbits, tad Don Don Donki-ish. In addition, the store’s layout is logical. The upper floors stock household products and your typical hypermart essentials such as health and baby care items.
You can find dry food such as nuts (a nuts bar), noodles as well as rice by the kilo-loads on this upper first floor too. Moreover, the nut kiosk is something worth mentioning. Fairprice had decided to target the consumer awareness of healthy eating now.
With specialized counters offerings customized mix of nuts. This can be done through two areas. There is a nut bar on the upper first floor as well as one self-help nut dispenser section at the basement floor with additional grains and granola sections.
Compared to the previous Giant tenant, the spacing and size of the aisles and walkway spaces are not the largest, but adequate for two trolleys side by side. Moreover, there is a section dedicated to unique Singapore products, as well as a wine section. The Singapore products section is a curated section, with booths dedicated to each local offering.
Furthermore, one gripe is that the exits on the top floor is quite confusing. The checkout counters do not exit out into the mall area. Instead it is channeled into side exits into the mall car park or the single basement exit/entrance.
If you wish to exit back into the mall, you have to re-enter the to make a loop back into the mall. You are fine however, if the market is your last stop where you can exit straight into pick up bays and/or carpark.
Fresh foods in the basement
Moreover, fresh perishable and frozen foods are all located on the lower basement floor. Connection to the first and lower basement is down similarly via travellators. You access it via a trolley-friendly traveller which brings you right into the bread and bakery section.
Furthermore, the frozen food section and ice cream Is pretty extensive, with long rows of chillers stocking everything from ready meals to frozen meats and vegetables. It is quite a sight.
The butchery offers fresh cuts of pork, beef and chicken. There are also premium selections including aged beef and are all sold by the kilogram.
Also, notably small pink ice cream truck which children can play in. Children were swarming the truck when I was there. It is not really a playground per-se, just a decorative truck.
Also catering to the health conscious and vegans is a salad and self-help nut and grains dispenser area. This is flanked by the fresh foods and the seafood sections. The nut section allows you to customise your nut-mix based on your preference and weighed, rather them prepacked.
Leading out into the exit/entrance of the basement is an extensive green wall hawking vegetable sand fruits. Notably, there is also a mini hydroponics farm operated by local urban farming firm ComCrop.
Moreover, the display aims to bring awareness of our locally grown farmed soil-less vegetables as part of the government eco entrepreneur (to bring visibility to our local farms) as well and food self-sustenance initiatives for the country.
Buy, cook and eat without leaving the store
Furthermore, the Hypermarket lower floor are also where you can find a small eating counter. Here, you can have the fresh produce you purchased cooked on the spot into a meal.
All you have to do is to pay a small cooking fee and have your food prepared and eaten right in the supermarket. This is very similar to the concept offerings of Habitat at Honest Bee which we visited sometime back.
Lastly, exiting on the basement brings you out into the Mall’s new Basement F&B outlets, where the old Giant supermarket exit used to be. There is an extensive flower section here too.
Notably too, Vivocity has opened a handful of 5 new Food and beverage outlets. Sections includes Nakhon Kitchen, Ayam Penyet President and Penang Culture. The exit also doubles as the basement entrance entering right into the market’s fruits and vegetable section.
Furthermore, if you are more grounded into the NTUC rewards eco-system (e.g. link points), you will be glad to know that purchases here entire you to both NTUC perks as well as Vivocity mall perks. Having said that, similarly, being a Mapletree commercial establishment, your purchases entitles you to earn Vivocity points. This can be redeemed in the mall’s own App which you can use on your phone.
All in all, this new NTUC outlet is one of the many popping up in heartlands all over Singapore. It is definitely a welcome staple to those staying in the neighbourhood and offers a viable alternative to the Giant Hypermart it replaces. It is open from 8am to 11pm daily, with the first floor entrance only open from 9am to 10.30pm.
NTUC Xtra hypermarket at Vivocity
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