RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Dairy Farm upgrades Cold Storage services with 7-Eleven features

It is “following the trend” of the group franchise-licensed 7-Eleven by offering a wider range of ready-to-eat food in its premises, a report said.

Dairy Farm does not provide quarterly updates on its store count, but RHB Research spotted that there were two new Cold Storage outlets in Singapore at Marina One and Fusionopolis One North. According to a report, Cold Storage is “following the trend” of the group franchise-licensed 7-Eleven by offering a wider range of ready-to-eat food in its premises. 

RHB analyst Juliana Cai said, “In particular, the outlets that we visited at Marina One, Fusionopolis One North and Plaza Singapura offer a salad bar, fresh bakery stall, a cut fruits section, roasted meat food stall and a wide range of artisanal sandwiches. We also noticed that there was a small kitchen space for staff to prepare the food, whilst ovens are also available for customers to easily heat up what they buy."

Also read: Sheng Siong's 'bad' store locations are growth areas: RHB Research

The analyst noted that Cold Storage always has a wide range of wines available to serve the expats and the middle- and upper-income groups. “However, we note that the new Cold Storage supermarkets sport an even greater variety of wines, as well as wine-tasting bars. On top of that, we also noticed that they stock a larger range of imported beers that are less common in Singapore,” she observed.

To provide more reasons to go to a brick-and-mortar supermarket, the new Cold Storage outlets are now emulating the group’s Chinese associate Yonghui Superstores and Alibaba’s Hema supermarket (which it owns in China) by providing dining areas within the premises.

Moreover, the Fusionopolis outlet allows advanced booking for meeting rooms that can seat up to 10 people. “The dine-in option in the supermarket is relatively new in Singapore, but is rather popular in China. We believe this complements the increased range of ready-to-eat food and wine selection,” Cai said.

Other new properties Cai observed is a play zone for children, the separation of fresh produce from dry goods, and a “creative shelf space utilisation” for different fruits.

Also read: Singapore is tired of the same, old convenience stores

The analyst noted that as brick-and-mortar players up their game to differentiate themselves, consumers are likely to benefit from a better grocery shopping experience. “We believe this could help to attract foot traffic and bump up transaction volumes. In addition, with the chain operators pushing higher-value products such as fresh food (Sheng Siong) and ready-to-eat food and alcohol (Cold Storage), we believe there is also potential for an increase in basket size,” she concluded. 

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