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HAO Mart opened its first supermarket on 1st January 2016. With 47 stores opened to date, it is one of the fastest growing grocery chains in Singapore.
The retailer has focused its growth in residential areas in the last four years. The stores range from 1,500 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft and many of these are open for 24 hours. The store formats are flexed according to the location and size. Fresh produce, meat, frozen food, convenience food, personal care products and household items are found in most of the stores.
The retailer launched a new banner under HAO Halal Hub to cater to the Muslim community, providing a unique alternative in a highly competitive scene. There are 17 stores dedicated to halal products, with plans for further expansion. We visited one of the Halal Hub stores at 537 Bedok North and were impressed with the halal range available.
Source: IGD Research
Many Korean, Japanese and Chinese products are usually not halal due to the ingredients and process of manufacturing the food. For example, many Japanese food contains mirin, a sweet rice wine that is key to making Teriyaki sauce. HAO Halal Hub carries a version made in Singapore, which is halal-certified and does not contain alcohol. Muslim shoppers will also find halal versions of kimchee (fermented cabbage), bean paste and dim sum in the store.
There will be new HAO Halal Hub stores opening in malls later this year. These stores will carry more premium products to meet shoppers’ demands. The retailer is preparing for the next stage of growth with a new 150,000 sq ft warehouse in Changi. This will allow suppliers to send products to a central location and reduce procurement cost. The retailer expects to increase the range of products in the stores, including products from local distributors. HAO Mart aims to increase its network to 200 stores over the next few years. Plans are also under way for an ecommerce platform.
Soo Eng is a senior research manager in our Singapore office. She has a strong consumer research background, having worked for Unilever, Millward Brown and Suntory in roles across Asia. She focuses on Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia, as well as the role of hypermarkets and supermarkets in the Asian grocery market.
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