Coles 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.
Also 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.
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