Space is scarce in Singapore. That’s why not only the blocks of flats but also the warehouses are growing skywards. This also applies to RedMart. A central logistics hub of the online supermarket is located on the upper floors of a ten-story warehouse at the port. Each floor is high enough so that the suppliers’ large trucks can easily climb the spiral-shaped driveways. Inside, the customers’ purchases are then packed and loaded into a red Vito and then delivered to the doorstep somewhere in the metropolis with a population of 5.6 million. And that’s not all; a chic penthouse is located on the roof of the giant block. From here, programmers continuously optimize the RedMart website and manage the up-and-coming start-up. And from here you have a perfect view of the modern city at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula.
“We believe that the Singapore market has a potential of 30,000 deliveries per day,” says Jamil Khan, Vice President of Operations at RedMart. Online delivery has existed for six years and has grown steadily since then. Extra momentum has been gained since a subsidiary of the Chinese Alibaba Group joined RedMart. Jamil Khan: “In addition to our financial strength, we are also benefiting from our new shareholder’s expertise because we are also learning more about the online business in Asia. We’re still in the process of becoming one big organization.” While the temperature outside is tropical 32 degrees Celsius, the warehouse is quite fresh. Here the crates with the daily needs of RedMart customers are put together.
One box is meant for Michelle Teo. The young woman is an accountant in a large company and has her purchases delivered when she is at home. “Like most people in Singapore, I work a lot and need up to two hours a day to get to work and back. It’s just handy if I don’t have to do my shopping after work and drag heavy things like drinks and rice into the apartment.” Shopping for everyday necessities online has become part of Michelle Teo’s lifestyle. Just a few clicks on the iPhone is all it takes to update your shopping list and the goods arrive “just in time”.
“It is our mission to save our customers time and money for the really important things in life. If you work all week long, you don’t want to stand in line at the supermarket on Saturday and have 30 people in front of you,” says Jamil Khan. Most people in Singapore have to work hard,” says Michelle Teo. “But at the same time, we know how to have fun. The city is great, that’s why I want to spend time here with my family and friends, to recharge my batteries and relax.” The prerequisite for the success of RedMart is that, in addition to the website with its wide range of products, the price and the quality of the products are right. The start-up is extremely competitive in terms of price, as the company does not have to operate any shop space in addition to the warehouse. RedMart makes sure that customers do not have to pay more than in the major supermarket chains.
When I as a customer see that my online grocery store is driving Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it shows the quality standard.
As far as quality is concerned, it is a crucial success factor, especially in Singapore, where good food is an important part of the culture. Quality is our top priority, so the purchases must be carefully packaged and delivered,” says Jamil Khan. “Once customers realize that our products are as fresh as at the supermarket, they usually come back.” RedMart attaches great importance to quality not only for its products, but also for its fleet of vehicles. More and more Vitos are being integrated into the fleet. Jamil Khan: “The people in Singapore live very brand-oriented. When I as a customer see that my online grocery store is driving Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it shows the quality standard. This is a clear signal that customers can trust us!”