Monday, September 12, 2016

Taking A Walk Around Warehouse Club in Joo Koon


Grocery shopping is a pretty standard affair for most of us. We enter the supermarket, grab the stuff we need and then leave. What if I told you there's a new way to shop for groceries? Warehouse Club is a relatively new warehouse supermarket located in Joo Koon that's exclusively for members only. Here's the scoop.

What is Warehouse Club?


Warehouse Club is a warehouse supermarket operated by supermarket chain, NTUC Fairprice, that sells stuff mostly in bulk. The premise is that when you buy huge amounts of a particular item, you will save a lot of money.

Another benefit is that you don't have to spend time going back and forth to replenish your stock at home. Plus, Warehouse Club is only open to members only and anyone can be a member provided that you are willing to pay the membership fees and shop here often.

The Costco Effect


Warehouse Club is based on US retailer, Costco. Just like Warehouse Club, Costco sells most of their items in bulk and only members get to enter and purchase the items. They are also well known for their foodcourt which sells snacks like pizzas, hotdogs, ice cream and other bite-sized snacks.

As Costco doesn't have plans to open a store in Singapore, Warehouse Club is the closest thing that resembles a Costco. And if you're already a fan of Costco, you'll be glad to know that some of their brand name items also make an appearance at Warehouse Club. More on that later.

Getting to Warehouse Club


Warehouse Club is currently located at Fairprice Hub, a shopping mall located in the heart of the Joo Koon industrial estate. It's directly connected to the Joo Koon MRT Station and has an integrated bus interchange on the ground floor.


Apart from Warehouse Club, Fairprice Hub also has a wide range of retail shops and food outlets like Pastamania and McDonald's. Another thing to note is that Fairprice Hub is also home to the headquarters and the distribution centre to all the NTUC Fairprice outlets in Singapore.

Strolling The Aisles


Unlike typical supermarket aisles, Warehouse Club places their items in warehouse pallets. In fact, the whole place is in a warehouse format. The reason why they are placed in this manner is so that there will be less manpower doing all the sorting out. Less manpower means less costs and less costs means more savings passed to consumers.


Of course, it may be slightly more confusing to find the things you need but it's a small price to pay for big savings. Plus, staff are constantly walking around so you can ask for help whenever you need it. Most of the items sold are packed in big packets or packed in huge quantities to make you think that bigger is better. Why go for a six pack of Chrysanthemum Tea when you get a carton of 24 packs.

More Stuff On Level 2


Can't get enough of the good deals found on the first level? There's also the second level for you to explore. There's frozen food, dairy products, desserts and more food, in bulk of course. If you have a sweet tooth, you can get yourself a selection of frozen cheesecakes by The Cheesecake Factory, a popular US chain of restaurants. The cheesecakes are exclusive to Warehouse Club so why not go for it?

Products From Popular Worldwide Supermarket Chains


Apart from The Cheesecake Factory, other brands that are exclusive to Warehouse Club are Tesco (a UK-based chain of supermarkets), Carrefour (a French hypermarket chain which used to operate in Singapore) and of course, Costco's famous house brand, Kirkland Signature. You don't have to travel all the way to the respective countries to get their items as you can get their popular range of items here.



However, if you look closely in normal Fairprice Xtra outlets (the chain's hypermarket variant), you can find the worldwide brands here as well thanks to their partnership.

Warehouse Club Food Stand & Samples


Costco is famous for their food court selling food like hotdogs, pizzas and all other kinds of snacks. Warehouse Club also has their own version of a food court or more specifically, a "food stand". Though it was closed at the time when I visited, it seems that they sell hotdogs, some bento sets and perhaps some rotisserie chicken of some sort. Seating was not available but there were plenty of standing tables.

Costco is also famous for their food samples. When I visited Warehouse Club, I did not come across a single person offering food samples although some food sample stalls were indeed set up. It's a little bit weird but maybe you'll have better luck when you come and visit.

Snacks In Bulk




Who doesn't love snacking? You'll be glad to know that all your favourite snacks are also available in bulk. You can find snacks like Kettle Chips, Famous Amos cookies and cans of Green Tea sold in big packets, cartons and cans. If you have a grocery list, I can assure you that you will buy extra snacks that are not originally in the list. It's what warehouse clubs are all about!

Membership


Being a member costs just $50 for 2 years and if you're already an NTUC member, it will just cost $35 for 2 years. According to their website, you are not only entitled to purchasing items from the store but you can also enjoy free food samples, invitation to store events, free parking, free delivery and much more.

However, is it worth getting a membership? Perhaps if you are the type of person that buys groceries on an almost daily basis, getting a membership may probably be worth it. But do note that you may need a car as lugging all that bulky groceries may not be appropriate to bring into the MRT. For most people, a normal NTUC outlet (or perhaps the Xtra hypermarket variant) will suffice.

Conclusion


Overall, Warehouse Club is definitely a unique shopping experience like no other. All your favourite items are in bulk, you can find international exclusives here, there are plenty of food stand food and samples all around and much more. However, membership costs and location may deter some from coming here to shop.

If you do intend to stop by at least once to buy just a few things, you can go with a friend who has the card. Sometimes, there will be days where you can get a "day pass" for a certain amount of money. You can find out more right at their website or at their information counter.

Getting Here

Bus services available: 99, 182, 182M, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258 (Joo Koon Bus Interchange)

Nearest MRT Station: EW29 Joo Koon MRT Station (East West Line)

Website: http://www.warehouseclub.com.sg/wps/portal/whc/whcHome

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