Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

New look Coles seeks to redefine the supermarket experience

Mark Fletcher
December 12th, 2013 · 7 Comments

new-look-colesColes is rolling out what it’s calling next-generation supermarkets in some of its supermarkets that borrows from the Whole Foods model in the US and also from tesco in the UK. They are also a bit like the Thomas Dux model from Woolworths.

The new look is a major change for the business in terms of look, shopping experience and product range.

I got to spend time in the Bondi Westfield store yesterday. This is an evolution of a model at Westfield Southland in Victoria. Inside Retail has more on the roll out and plans.

While these new-look Coles stores provide a new experience for Australian shoppers, The Whole Foods model in the US is streets ahead in my view but I am not an avid Coles shopper. For example, the Coles produce, fish and meat sections at Bondi pale when compared to what I saw at several Whole Foods stores earlier this year.

But I don’t want to detract from the new experience Coles is rolling out in Australia. This new experience is all about getting more of the food and grocery spend here and it should certainly achieve that.

colesmagsAlso part of the new model is fresh investment by Coles in their magazine department. This is placed at the front of the store to drive sales. You notice it as you enter and when you head to the checkout from the market area. It’s very shopper friendly. I think this will drive magazine sales.

This supermarket refresh is not the only work being done by Coles to drive market share. They are working in the local shop/ petrol / convenience spaces from what I understand.

The investment by Coles in a fresh retail offer is another reason newsagents with older shop-fits need to consider their investing in their own businesses. We are competing in a tough climate with aggressive ricks and mortar retailers and equally aggressive online retailers. Not investing in a relevant looking shop encourages shoppers to shop elsewhere.

I encourage newsagents to visit one of the new Coles shops. It needs to be seen live to get the full scope of what they have done and to see their commitment to growth. It’s impressive.

Click on the images to see larger versions.


Category: magazines · Newsagency challenges

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brett // Dec 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Coles imported senior staff from the UK some years ago now.

    They are slavishly on the path to seek out the Tesco model. Tesco stocks and sells everything. Lotto included.

    The UK small business market is under extreme pressure as a result and high streets stores are at an all time low.

    It looks like we have to have a hook, a niche, a POD, call it what you will but we need something to take the customer out of the supermarket and into our stores.


  • 2 Jenny // Jan 5, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Had a look at this store today, from outside it’s very inviting. The fruit and vege department looks fantastic and agree the magazines are well positioned.
    How do small city retailers compete, I don’t think they can. It seems the majority of shoppers love these one stop shops, I feel lucky to be in a rural area where progress is a bit slower.


  • 3 Bill // Jan 5, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Hi What has been come of the store at bayswater in vic was that not a new type of lay out


  • 4 Bill // Jan 5, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    We have something like this were we are but nothing on checkouts we did pick up from this


  • 5 Bill // Jan 5, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Range is were we must go


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Jan 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Bill Coles is on a rolling makeover plan,each new series is an extension of what has gone one before.

    I’m not so sure about range. Specialising is the key for me more so than range.


  • 7 Gary // Jan 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    In the words of Sun Tzu, don’t fight battles you can not win. But don’t be afraid to skirmish with the enemy where you can find a weakness. It takes a little effort to gather intelligence that helps you to identify these weaknesses. This is very true if you run your business in a large shopping centre as we do.
    Identify small areas where you have an edge. One such area is our ability to quickly adjust our prices to suit the market. The supermarkets cannot do this. They may have their specials, however in general their prices are fixed.
    One such skirmish I carry on an ongoing basis is Ink. It takes me a few minutes to go over to Woolworths and Kmart, and visit Officeworks on line, check out their prices, then adjust my prices to make it worthwhile for the customer to buy from me. I advertise the fact that I have the lowest prices in the centre, because I know I have. Every now and then the supermarkets run ink specials (I am even warned about this through their catalogues). I quickly adjust my prices to match their specials. Works a treat as the customers know that I will look after them on an ongoing basis.


Leave a Comment

Powered by sweetCaptcha