SINGAPORE supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice is South-east Asia's most valuable retail brand, a new report has found.

Global branding consultancy Interbrand placed FairPrice ahead of Indonesia's Matahari and Malaysia's Parkson department stores.

It examined 150 retail brands across four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

FairPrice came in sixth in the Asia-Pacific region, with an estimated brand value of US$1.52 billion (S$1.89 billion), but was the highest-ranked South-east Asian retail brand.

Australian supermarket chain Woolworths topped the Asia-Pacific list with a brand value of US$4.95 billion, a place ahead of Japanese retailer Uniqlo, worth US$4.16 billion.

Walmart is the most valuable retail brand in North America and across all four regions, with a brand value of US$131.877 billion.

FairPrice's strengths are that it "competes strongly on value" in a largely price-driven sector, the report said, and continues to strengthen its brand image through efforts such as an online video channel.

The chain's chief executive, Mr Seah Kian Peng, said yesterday that it will continue to "leverage our brand strength as well as look for more ways to harness technology to increase convenience for customers and improve productivity that can translate into cost savings and benefits for them".

FairPrice, Singapore's largest retailer, was set up by the labour movement in 1973 to moderate living costs in the country.

It now serves about 430,000 shoppers a day and has more than 120 outlets islandwide. It also has more than 160 convenience stores which serve at least 100,000 customers every day.

The Interbrand report said the retail chain tries to stay relevant by offering more convenient payment options and passing on savings from self-checkout counters and warehouse automation to its customers.

The annual report uses methodology that determines, in both customer and financial terms, the contribution of the brand to business results.

To be defined as a retailer, a brand must generate at least half of its sales revenue from its branded retail stores and websites.