Most Singaporeans think of Sheng Siong as the wet market style, cheapest and most affordable supermarket in Singapore. Although not as atas as Cold Storage, Sheng Siong offers a range of products closer to the local and regional culture, which is something that differentiates them from the rest of the competition.
That said, there are many things that you might not have know about this chain of supermarkets that’s stocking up fresh produce, All For You.
The owners were pig farmers.
Before the Singapore government decided to do away with pig farms in 1985, the Lim brothers owned a pig farm in Punggol. Humble beginnings is an absolute understatement when it comes to this supermarket chain.
The first Sheng Siong is in Ang Mo Kio.
At first, all the Lim brothers did was to rent a stall space at a supermarket outlet at Block 122, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3; they just wanted to sell the excess pork from their farms.
Coincidentally, the moment they sold all that excess bacon, the supermarket chain that they rented the stall from ran into money problems and sold all their outlets. With some capital from their father, the Lim brothers took over the store they rented and history was made.
They’ve expanded through multiple financial crises.
While most businesses would downsize or close, Sheng Siong took the opportunity to expand. From 2000 to 2005, they opened 12 new stores despite the aftermath of the 1998 financial crisis, the dot-com bubble burst and SARS, making full use of the drop in rental prices.
After all, people still need to eat, and cheaper alternatives become much more attractive in times of need.
There’s a Sheng Siong credit card. Of all the credit cards available to Singaporeans, Sheng Siong decided to collaborate with one of the less common ones: Diners Club. In fact, Sheng Siong only accepts Diners Club credit cards; other credit card holders can only pay by cash or NETS. (Publisher’s note: A reader has pointed out to us that Sheng Siong now accepts more than just Diners Club. We deeply apologise for the oversight. It was added that the POSB Credit Card gives better rebates when you use it at Sheng Siong.)
Their employees get one free meal a day.
While Sheng Siong employees all over Singapore get a free meal every day, those working at the Woodlands outlet get a free meal buffet style; a central kitchen prepares everything. Talk about welfare!
They are a listed company.
Listed as Sheng Siong Group Limited on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2011, their financial reports for 2015 look good indeed: their net profit has grown year on year by 12.2%, 23.1% and 14.5% in quarters 1, 2 and 3 in 2015 respectively.
They are generous bosses.
Not only have they distributed 20% of their profit before tax to all of their employees as a variable bonus, the CEO Lim Hock Chee also gives cash incentives to those with young families; they believe that employees will do their best at work only if they’re happy at home.
The bosses are in Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest list.
With a net worth of $545 million, they’re ranked the 45 richest people in Singapore. It’s probably unwanted attention to the Lim brothers though, and led to the kidnapping of their mother in 2014.
Fortunately, their mother was released after they paid the 2 million dollar ransom under the instructions of the police and got all their money back after the police caught the two stooges shortly after.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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