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The Applicant Series #22: Industry and Internal analysis of Sheng Siong

The Applicant Series showcases works done by hopeful writers who have applied with inkmypapers over the years. The results and comments will be provided first, followed by the actual essay/report written by the applicant

Applicant’s Results: Failed

Title: Industry and Internal analysis of Sheng Siong

Comments: Incorrect understanding of Porter Five Forces and weak SWOT analysis means the applicant failed. Porter Five Forces in particular, is done poorly and is a very common mistake among applicants that we’ve seen. We have also guided numerous students over the years over how to tackle the framework effectively.

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Porter Five Forces Analysis of the Supermarket Industry

The Porter’s Five Forces will help in understanding the competitive landscape, specifically in the supermarket industry. Sheng Siong Supermarket is among the top players which dominate the supermarket industry, along with NTUC FairPrice Coop and Dairy Farm International Holdings. All three players are operating as chains and are spread across different locations in Singapore (Gaille, 2018). The competition is intense, since the product differentiation among them is low. For a new entrant, it is extremely difficult to enter the supermarket industry as the dominating chains present huge barriers in terms of initial capital requirement, as well marketing expenses to create awareness of their existence. Furthermore, it would be difficult for a new entrant to maintain competitive prices for products, as many of the products sold at the supermarkets are imported from other countries and the prices keep fluctuating (Gaille, 2018). Due to intense competition, the bargaining power of customers is high, as they have a variety of options for stores where they can buy the groceries from. On the other hand, the bargaining power of suppliers is low, as there is a huge network of suppliers who are providing a vast array of products to the supermarket industry. Lastly, the threat of substitutes is high because the consumers want low prices as well as convenience (Experian, 2019), hence, they often buy products from an online supermarket or a local convenience store which is near their home. Moreover, since supermarkets deal in multiple categories of products, they also tend to face threat from players in each category, such as pharmacies for sale of medicines.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Sheng Siong Supermarket

Sheng Siong was established in 1985 by the Lim family and has 61 stores, as of May 2020. Over more than 3 decades, the supermarket has been able to gain consumer trust for providing quality products at affordable prices. Their strength lies in the knowledge of the supermarket industry acquired over the years as well as the local knowledge of the regulations and legislations in Singapore. Additionally, Sheng Siong has been able to create brand awareness and increase sales by launching ‘The Sheng Siong Show’ on Channel 8 in 2007 to boost its brand image (Sheng Siong 2022). Despite all the strengths that Sheng Siong has in the Singaporean market, it also faces certain problems which can be characterized as weaknesses. Since the Lim brothers have been managing the company for more than 30 years, once they decide to retire it might cause a loss of strategic direction for Sheng Siong, as the new management might think differently. Furthermore, the rent and labour costs in Singapore are quite high, so Sheng Siong faces a huge
pressure to manage its operating costs while maintaining their low-cost strategy. Failing to do so might cause loss of profit for them, which is not sustainable (Bridges, 2022).


With the awareness and understanding of the Singaporean market, Sheng Siong has been able to create and maintain its position in the supermarket industry. Now, the company needs to take action to overcome its weaknesses to be able to thrive in the long run.


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