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Singapore (City) - Shopping
For fresh food supplies and sundries, the easiest and most convenient option would be the supermarket. Supermarket chains are choc-a-bloc throughout Singapore, and the supermarket is usually located in the basement levels of shopping malls. The main supermarket chains in Singapore are FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant, Carrefour and Sheng Siong, and all of them offer a range of ingredients to whip up any cuisine you can think of. Most supermarket chains also stock a small section of ‘specialty’ sauces, spices and other exotic ingredients. There are several specialty shops that cater to gourmet or hard-to-find international delicacies located along Dempsey road, together with a mix of hip restaurants and pubs. Jason’s Marketplace with several branches in popular shopping malls is also another option for specialty foods. Singaporeans are very experienced and discerning shoppers, so the various supermarket chains offer a different set of discounts / loyalty programs to attract shoppers. The best times for special offers are on weekends and on public holidays or during festivals. Check out the local newspapers for advertisements. Some supermarkets offer fair quality produce at affordable prices; while others offer high quality produce but at a price.
As with many Asian societies, the wet markets located in neighborhoods offer a smaller variety and supply of fresh food for those who prefer to buy only what they need for the day. The fresh produce sold at wet markets is usually not individually packed as in supermarkets, and it is acceptable to touch or handle the fresh produce with your bare hands while you assess the quality of the produce before a sale. Be prepared to haggle on occasion – most stalls in wet markets do not display their prices, and even if they do, the prices are seldom fixed.
To get around grocery shopping without a car, some shoppers prefer to shop online and have the groceries sent to their doorstep. Late-night shopping is also fast becoming a feature of modern Singapore living, with more and more supermarket outlets operating 24 hours, in addition to 24-hour convenience stores such as 7-11.
Flea markets, garage sales and second-hand markets do take place throughout Singapore. There are all-day bazaars at Bugis Village, Arab Street and Little India but for the special seasonal bazaars, check the weekend classifieds for details.
Learn more about protecting your interests as a consumer at www.case.org.sg with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE). The website provides general tips and advice on what to look out for when shopping for groceries, or shopping for electronics and electric goods or making online purchases. The Small Claims Tribunals (www.smallclaims.gov.sg; 1st Level, Subordinate Courts, No. 1 Havelock Square, Singapore 059724; Tel: (+65) 6435 5946) are part of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore, providing a quick and inexpensive forum for resolution of small claims (not exceeding SGD$10,000) between consumers and suppliers.