Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

SWOT And Porter Sheng Siong

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Growing up in a pig farm, the CEO Mr... Limit Hock Cache and his brothers have brought Sheen Song Group Ltd to an over million market capital, Singapore Exchange-listed supermarket chain. The group's humble beginning in the year 1985, from its first store in Nag Mo CIO which surrounded by 5 other grocery stores, has now expanded to be the one of the largest supermarket chain in Singapore. Sheen Song is publicly listed at the Singapore Exchange (SIX) on August 17, 2011.

Since then, it grows to become a major supermarket chain in Singapore with a total retail area of 00,sq Ft over 33 outlets island-wide. Sheen Swings outlets are designed to provide customers with both "wet and dry' shopping options ranging from a wide assortment of fresh, live and chilled products, such as meat, seafood and vegetables to processed, packaged and preserved food products as well as general groceries. Over the past few years, they have developed a selection of house brands to offer customers alternatives with at ample savings. Sheen Song has now over 400 products under their 10 house brands.

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With the long history and reputation for quality products at competitive prices, the "Sheen Song" brand had become an established household name in Singapore. Widely recognized by consumers, Sheen Song were awarded the "Superstars" status by Superabundant Singapore since 2008 (Superabundant, 1994).


We strive to offer communities in which we operate quality products at reasonable prices together with good service in order to create value to our customers


Our vision is to be the preferred retailer in the market, starting from Singapore and then further ashore.

SWOT analysts


  1. Strong brand recognition
  2. Experienced management


  1. Susceptible to rent hikes and labor cost hikes.
  2. Lack of a formal succession plan


  1. Overseas expansion
  2. Untapped areas in Singapore


  1. Losing market share
  2. Supply disruption

Awarded "Superstars" status by Superabundant Singapore, a global organization that recognizes the most valued and exceptional brands, every year since year 2008. Experienced management Sheen Song is founded since year 1985 and focus only in retail business in Singapore. Management of the group since then rests in the hands of the three founding Limit brothers: Mr... Limit Hock Eng (Executive Chairman), Mr... Limit Hock Cache (CEO) and Mr... Limit Hock Lens (Managing Director). They have almost 30 years of experience in grocery retailing, equipped with in-depth knowledge of the industry in Singapore.

Susceptible to rent hikes and labor cost hikes The cost of rental and labor takes up 85% of Sheen Swings' operating expenses (Mbabane EEK, 2013) thus it is very vulnerable to hikes on operating cost in order to sustain their low-cost strategy. The Singapore Government had increase the restrictions for hiring foreign labor (Mom. Gob. So, 2013), which pressure Sheen Song, in which one-third of its 2600 employees are non-Singapore, in their operating cost. (Michelle Too, 2013) In Mbabane Keg's research (2013), under the sensitivity analysis, an increase of 5% additional staff cost would incurred 9% of shortfall in Sheen Swings profit.

According to Sheen Swings Annual Report in 2012 and 2013, rental expenses had been increased from 1. Million to 1. Million, representing a more than 50% hike. In order to sustain the low-cost strategy, such rental hike issue had made Sheen Song Group opened no new store in year 2013, whereby they cannot find suitable and affordable space to rent for expansion. Lack of a formal succession plan The founders, Limit brothers are holding more than 60% of the shares of Sheen Song Group and also on the top managing positions. (Annual Report, 2013) The lack of a formal succession plan could prove to be a weakness in the long-run.

The listing of Sheen Song in the SIX had made incorporation of some outside talents including Mr... Tan Ling San (Executive Director) and Mr... Wong Song Kit (Finance Director) into he management ranks, however if the Limit brothers decide to retire or step down before a formal succession plan is put into place, it may lead to a potential loss of strategic direction.

Overseas expansion

Despite the foreign markets are also dominated by major players, Sheen Song might able to seek chances in overseas expansion, especially in neighbor countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

The benefits of overseas expansion including increase brand value, find new customers, seek for tax incentives and reduce excessive domestic, single market reliance and furthermore enjoy the robust economic development of he region of South East Asia. Especially in Malaysia, Sheen Song has had various suppliers which relationships had been established for decades, the expansion into the market is not impossible. Untapped areas in Singapore There are still many highly populated areas in Singapore where Sheen Song has no presence such as Bissau, Tympanis, Housing, Sneaking and Buick Emmer.

This means that Sheen Song still has a lot of room to grow its store network. Furthermore, Sheen Song had commenced an e-commerce pilot project in December 2013, in the Thomson vicinity to provide customers the convenience of shopping groceries online IA the website "alfresco. So". The possible success of this e-commerce project can reduce dependence on human labor, save cost on warehouse management and create new and better shopping experience of customers at their convenience.

Losing market share

Sheen Song operates in a highly competitive environment where it faces intense competition from other major super market chains as well as traditional grocery retailers, wet markets and even petrol kiosks. Its existing stores may face competition from new competitor outlets in their operating areas; it may lose market shares in he area where new competitor's outlets are open where Sheen Song is absent. Sheen Song has suffer zero expansion in retail outlets in year 2013, making it a crucial threat of losing market shares due to expansions of its competitors.

Supply disruption Supply disruptions arising from harsh weather conditions, force measure events or natural disasters might hit Sheen Song because about 30% of its revenue (Cob is from the sale of fresh produce.

Porter's 5 forces

  • Competitive rivalry - High Sheen Song is in tough competition with major direct competitors such as .NET retailers in the market. The 4 major supermarket chain had a dominant market share of more than percent, making the business to be in a semi-consolidated industry. Supermarkets are having very low level of product differentiation. The retail sectors is growing steadily but slow. For the full year, retail sales in Singapore contracted by 4. 3%, a reversal from the 1. 3% expansion in 2012, but supermarket sales grew by 4. 3% at current prices and 2. 4% at constant prices during the same period, compared with an increase of 7. 5% and 5. 3% respectively in 2012. Economic Survey of Singapore, 2013) The increasingly intensive competition may result in lower sales and greater operating costs and have an adverse effect on Sheen Song.
  • Threat of new entrants - Low The big 4 supermarket chains took up to more than percent of the total market shares in Singapore, thus becomes a huge barrier for new entrants to meet the excessive capital requirements into the harsh competition. A new entrant would have to achieve the economies of scale needed to compete on cost advantage with the major market players, therefore not an easy barrier to cross over. Branding is another barrier to entry. A new entrant would need to differentiate themselves with the big 4 and to attain identity through promotions and advertising which may incur extremely high expenses. The highly responsive to competition of the big 4 supermarket chains to sustain market share also makes the barrier higher for new entrants. New entrant also face disadvantage in lack of expertise and knowledge of consumer trends, as the big players had been in the business for decades. Difficulties in accessing to distribution channels and locations is also an entry barrier for new entrant as Singapore is a matured market.
  • Threat of substitute - High Chains of convenience stores such as 7-eleven and Cheers are emerging in the market. Convenience stores are selling some Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMC) like dairy products, soft drinks and packaged food which also sold by supermarkets, thus become a substitute of supermarkets. Restaurants, cockpit's (coffee shop) and food centers are also substitutes for supermarkets. People may want to dine outside rather than purchasing fresh meats, fishes and vegetable to cook at home. Pharmacies which are selling medicine, personal care, and baby care and toilet / pocket papers are also a substitute of supermarket. Traditional wet markets are considered another substitute for supermarket business. Newly emerged online groceries shopping brings threat of substitute to supermarket also.
  • Bargaining power of customer - High Sheen Song is facing intense competition from traditional grocery retailers such as wet markets, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and from non-traditional competitors such as, petrol kiosk convenience stores, convenience stores and restaurants. Customers have various options when comes to buying groceries. While pricing is one of the keys, convenience also plays a significant role in groceries shopping. Heir doorstep or buy drinks from the nearest convenience stores, rather than purposely go to supermarket.
  • Bargaining power of supplier - Low Due to the nature of grocery retailing business, Sheen Song purchase goods from a large number of suppliers and contract manufacturers. A large network of over 1,000 suppliers and contract manufacturers had been established for Sheen Swings business. Some of the supplying relationships had established since the commencing year of 1985. The large and stable supplying relationships have enabled Sheen Song to have a continuous supply of products without major corruptions and allow them to wield greater bargaining power in terms of the purchase prices of their products. No single supplier or contract manufacturer contributed more than 5. 0% of Sheen Swings total purchases.


  • Competitive rivalry
  • Threat of new entrants
  • Threat of substitute
  • High Bargaining power of customer
  • High Bargaining power of supplier
  • The analysis above shows Sheen Song is in a really intensive business environment.

Therefore, the management team should act really cautious on their strategy planning for business operations as well expansions in order to stay competitive.

Strategic planning

As Sheen Song is implementing low-cost strategy, it is very important for the management to plan their business tightly watch on their operational costs, as they are vulnerable to rental and labor hikes. On the other Hand, not having a succession plan may negatively impacts the operations of company in long run.

Thus Sheen Song should have plans with the goal to train and sustain the dynamic key management team for the company's future growth. Goals Plans Control operating costs, Sustaining low-cost strategy Reduce dependence of foreign labors. Computerized operations to reduce labor costs. Seek new property rental or purchases opportunity in new high populated resident areas such as Punning and Housing. Make optimum utilize of the centralized warehouse UCM distribution center in Amanda Link, to achieve economies of scale.

Train and sustain the upcoming management team Set up a management training for potential employees from internal or external. Succession plan as well as a contingency plan should be well established as soon as possible to enhance the stability of the long term operations of the company. Sheen Song is applying the functional organization where by it divides into different visions such as Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Purchasing and Retail Operations. It is also a centralized organization since it was originally a family business.

Most decisions are made by high-level executives and pass down for implementation. In my opinion, a transition should be made in the organizing system in Sheen Song if the company wants to sustain in a longer run. Talents from internal or external should be brought up to managerial level through systematic trainings and being delegated in decisions making to cultivate fresh thoughts and ideas for the operations and growth of the company. The company should gradually decentralized in their organization to promote creativity and innovations, as well as act as a pathway for establishing succession plans.


Despite using power of authority, power of rewards has been used in Sheen Swings leadership over their employees. 20% of the groups' profit before tax was distributed in the form of various bonuses to its employees in the past 2 years. Relationship- motivated leadership Having policy such as provides one free meal per workday for every full-time worker that has become a tradition of the company for 25 years. The CEO Limit Hock Cache is an authentic and transformational leader. Although featuring at position 35 in Forbes' Singapore 50 Richest list, Limit Hock Cache remains a humble man.

He is known as the "tokomak (meaning 'boss' in Chinese) who drives a lorry' due to that being his mode of transport for many years. He undertook a two-year car mechanic course and thus stood him in good stead as until recently he was known as "Mr.. Fix it" at Sheen Song, regularly welding trolleys and fixing power outages. (Hunt, 2014) These good traits of leadership styles should be kept on in Sheen Song to distinguish homeless from major trends in capitalized world that applies less relationships concerned leadership.

However, a family business cannot sustain and grow if it stays only at family style, standardization and formalization should progressively apply and leaders should apply a balanced portion of task performance behaviors in their lead.


In spite of bureaucratic control, market control is always being well-utilized in Sheen Song. The plans and strategies in marketing, property renting and purchasing, and invests and divests are set according to close studies of the market.

Sheen Song merged as Runner-up in the Retail & Household Goods category of the 14th Securities Investors Association Investors' Choice Award - Most Transparent Company Award 2013. This indicates Sheen Song is having good control of their accounts and audits with optimum information stated in their financial reports. Despite the financial parts, management organizing, leading and controlling is always printed in their annual report. It reviews what have been done and what the upcoming plans are, giving a clear picture to investors and business partners.


Sheen Song should always prudent in its expansion and execution under the harsh economic environment. Setting up a clear succession plan of short, medium, and long term to ensure the future operations of the company. Overseas expansion exposes to risks and opportunities, the company should well utilize the connections that it has to expand the business to another level, locally and regionally.


Sheen Song had gradually emerged as one of the biggest groceries retailer in Singapore. Nevertheless, there are huge growth opportunity for the company.

The many should stay dynamic and improve the weaknesses to keep explore the chances of growth in this competitive environment. Changing is not always a bad idea. From a family business to a listed company, from a small establishment to a corporate, Sheen Song has gone this far, but be it Just the beginning of the future great arms in supermarket operators in the region or even in the globe. Modern management studies will help Sheen Song to embrace any possible threats in the future. The transition of Sheen Song should not be stopped at this point but should keep improving, strive to achieve its mission and vision.

SWOT And Porter Sheng Siong essay

Related Questions

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Other political factors likely to change for swot And Porters Five Forces For Sheng Siong. Position and current economy trend i.e. growing, stagnant or declining. Exchange rates fluctuations and its relation with company.

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Growing up in a pig farm, the CEO Mr. Lim Hock Chee and his brothers have brought Sheng Siong Group Ltd to an over 800million market capital, Singapore Exchange listed supermarket chain.

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The challenging diagnosis for swot And Porters Five Forces For Sheng Siong and the management of information is needed to be provided. However, introduction should not be longer than 6-7 lines in a paragraph.

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Using Sheng Siong's strengths to consolidate and expand the market position. Sheng Siong's can use two approaches - building on present strengths, or analyze the trend and build processes to two pronged market penetration approach. Building strategies based on consumer oriented product development and marketing approach.

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