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The Price of Being Fair: The FairPrice Group Story

We all know the corporate luminaries of the Singapore story - brands synonymous with the country that went from Third World to First. But do we really know them, challenges,  stumbles, and all?

From Singapore Airlines to DBS Bank, and of course, FairPrice Group, these entities have provided the backbone of enterprise for a fledgling nation to become an international business capital.

Yet, few understand the intricacies of how exactly they came to be. In the case of FairPrice Group, how it went from a worker-led experiment with one store in 1973 to a S$4 billion food empire 50 years on.

The Price of Being Fair is a first in this genre, of uncovering Singapore’s most famous homegrown ventures in their unvarnished glory. The authorised book gives readers unprecedented access to how the supermarket chain navigated crisis after crisis. Most times successfully, sometimes less so. 

Official Opening of NTUC Welcome in 1973.png

Our no-holds-barred interviews with the Group’s top management - past and present - reveal gnawing considerations behind every major decision. Whether it is venturing abroad or creating new retail concepts like Finest.

The book is as much a chapter in Singapore's nation-building as it is a business management case study. History buffs will be satisfied as a gap in the nation's union and corporate history is finally filled. Retail industry observers can pick out lessons in e-commerce, expansion and logistics.

Most of all, FairPrice is a beloved household brand here. Yet, Singaporeans in the supermarket aisles hardly know about the Group’s role as a trade union cooperative, and bulwark of national confidence during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This social mission is a defining aspect of FairPrice, and at times a responsibility to bear. We showcase how the cooperative pays the price of being fair even as it costs more to fight inflation and competitors. And how the idea of corporatisation to unlock market funds is never far away.

Almost 30 interviews, dozens of warehouse and store visits and countless drafts later, The Price of Being Fair is finally on the shelves. Adorned in a chic minimalist cover with the familiar supermarket price labels, no less.


The Price of Being Fair is in stock at Books Kinokuniya, Times, and Popular bookstores, and probably in your neighbourhood FairPrice. Or you can buy it here with us at The Nutgraf Books.

Want to know more? Just get in touch with us for collaborations and speaking engagements. Our writers will bring you behind the scenes, giving you off-the-menu information nuggets that might make you see the book in a new perspective.


Meet the Writers

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