By June Low (with additional reporting from Grace Lee)
For Japanese food lovers who are disappointed with the closing of Japanese supermarket Meidi-Ya at Liang Court, fret not! It is slated to open its new flagship store at Millenia Walk in phases starting from May 2020, and will complete its opening in August 2020.
With the closure of the Liang Court store in Mar 2020, it has also opened its doors in Great World City in 2019. The Millenia Walk outlet will thus be the second store, which is also the biggest, boasting a 24,000 sq feet space with two storeys.
The space will include both a supermarket and food hall integrated under one roof. Level 1 will house the food hall, with authentic Japanese cuisine, delicatessen, and wine and liquor imported directly from Japan. Customers can get their Japanese grocery fix at Level 2, which will be the supermarket section.
Mr Nagoshi Shuji, the Managing Director of Meidi-Ya Singapore, told The Epoch Times that the closure of Liang Court does not mean the departure of Meidi-Ya. On the contrary, with the opening of the Great World City store and the new flagship store at Millenia Walk , Meidi-Ya is “expanding its supermarket business in Singapore”.
Introducing Authentic Japanese Culture to Singapore
As a Japanese supermarket, one of Meidi-Ya’s unique features is that the food and groceries are all very fresh. Meidi-Ya imports miso soup directly from Japan and sells hand-made tofu.
Mr. Nagoshi said, “We persist in providing our customers with fresh food, because we import directly from Meidi-Ya headquarters in Japan, not through wholesalers”, “Every week comes (to Singapore) 3 shipment of fresh vegetables via air “.
However, providing fresh food is not the only goal of Meidi-Ya. Their mission embraces a greater cause – to “introduce authentic Japanese culture to Singapore.”
Mr. Nagoshi said, “Good business is important, but we would like to introduce authentic Japanese culture to Singapore. This is our mission. It is very important to promote Japanese food and culture not only among Japanese but also among Singaporeans. And it must be ‘authentic’. “
For example, Meidi-Ya takes fish from Japan’s number one fish supplier, Nakajima, because it focuses on quality and its supply is stable.
But why must it be “authentic”? He explained, “Many Japanese suppliers want to enter foreign markets. We have to support these Japanese brands to help them expand overseas. We need to ensure that they are authentic Japanese suppliers. This is very important.”
“We will check their quality to ensure that they are high-quality Japanese goods. In addition, we also educate our staff to read Japanese product packaging. Now customers praise our Japanese products for being good.”
More Than Just Freshness
The supermarket aims to continue its mission and philosophy of “More Than Just Freshness”. “We always tell our staff: what’s important is customer satisfaction. Satisfaction for the quality, the service and the total atmosphere. The three points are very important,” said Mr Nagoshi.
Therefore, Meidi-Ya has carefully fine-tuned the lighting and background music to create a unique aura and comfortable shopping experience for her customers.
During the interview at the supermarket, Mr. Nagoshi repeatedly reminded our own reporters to not stand in the way of the shoppers. He also asked us not to interview his customers from the very beginning, so as not to interrupt their shopping experience.
“Our Business Is Not Affected”
On competition from other Japanese supermarkets in Singapore, Mr Nagoshi is also not worried: “There are many Japanese supermarkets, but we are focused on our own concept – good quality products, service and atmosphere. Of course, price is important, but it’s not just about price, some people may like the atmosphere here.”
He emphasized, “We focus on quality products, quality service and atmosphere at reasonable prices to make our customer satisfied.” Compared with other Japanese supermarkets, Meidi-Ya offers more variety and a wider range of products. Moreover, Meidi-Ya focuses on promoting premium-quality, authentic Japanese goods.