Hungry ghost festival good for Sheng Siong sales: analyst

They offer various food and offering packages compared to their rivals.

Sheng Siong’s ability could capture most of the sales for the hungry ghost festival month in August with its widest range and availability of items related to the season, RHB analyst Juliana Cai said.

The analyst noted that during the ghost month, people buy additional food items which they make into offerings, as well as prayer-related items such as joss paper from supermarkets.

“Based on the outlets we visited, we believe Sheng Siong has the widest range and availability of prayer items, often taking up an entire section of shelf space for the smaller outlets or having an area outside the premises that is dedicated to stock packages for the festival (for the larger outlets that span more than 10,000 sq ft),” she explained.

This feature, according to Cai, is in contrast to its rival supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice and Dairy Farm that only have small shelves of limited prayer packages in the smaller outlets.

Compared to its competitor, the analyst noted that Sheng Siong offered 12 different packages ranging from $3.50 to $288. Meanwhile, NTUC FairPrice offers seven different packages ranging between $3.50 to $42.80 whilst Giant offers four packages ranging from $2.80 to $18.80.

“In addition to the seventh month packages, most of Sheng Siong outlets that we visited also have a separate corner, for selling prayer items such as joss paper, joss sticks and candles in loose units, which is not normally found in other supermarkets,” Cai said.

For food offering packages, Sheng Siong outlets offer eight packages ranging from $13.80 to $49.80 whilst NTUC Fair Price and Giant offers only six and four packages, respectively. Sheng Siong also sells roast meat platters for pre-orders and deliveries.

Moreover, Cai also thinks that Sheng Siong’s outlets which are located near Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates could make it convenient for customers who would do the burning of incense and papers in the metal bins located in the HDB void decks.

“It is no surprise to us to find Sheng Siong’s product range catered to these traditional Buddhist or Taoist customs, given that the founders of the group are Chinese speaking businessmen,” she added.

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