Coles stores are set to change dramatically with the grocery giant to roll out four different types of supermarkets depending on where you live.
Coles detailed the plan in its full year results last Tuesday, with stores being transformed into either Format A, Format B, Format C or Coles Local.
Format A stores will be developed in areas with a population of higher affluence, including suburbs like Eastgardens in Sydney’s east, offering “premium, foodie and convenience”.
The supermarket has now transformed 29 stores into Format A, with includes a large bakery with a higher variety of takeaway sweets as well as more pre-packaged salad and sandwich options.
Coles Local stores are also targeting those in more affluent suburbs, with stores in this format opening in both Rose Bay, in Sydney’s east, and Hawthorn, in Melbourne’s inner east.
Coles said in a statement in May the new look neighbourhood supermarket in Rose Bay included a pick-and-mix bar of dog treats, a macaron, mini gelato and Japanese mochi ice cream parlour and a self-serve coffee and orange juice station.
“Coles Local supermarkets offer the community a tailored in-store experience, partnering with local butchers, bakers and cafes to offer a bespoke range of high-quality foods designed to meet the needs of local residents,” the statement said.
“Coles conducted wide research into the Rose Bay community, finding they are more than twice as likely to choose premium, high quality products than the average Australian shopper, and overwhelmingly value fresh and healthy solutions at meal times. They are also typically aged between 25 and 44 and don’t have kids.”
Coles Local stores are to cater to those time-poor Aussies who are looking for more ready-to-eat meals.
“Customers want us to make their lives easier, and this store offers our customers the convenience of a supermarket with the range of a speciality store,” CEO Steven Cain said.
Meanwhile Format B stores are basically Coles supermarkets as we know them, providing a standard Coles offering for those of medium affluence.
However stores transforming to Format C are targeting those of lower affluence, with supermarkets ditching delis and bakeries in favour of pre-packaged meat and bread products.
One of the Format C stores has already been introduced in Ardeer in Melbourne’s West.
Coles says it offers a “low cost, self service operating model and simple to shop” format.
There have already been 33 Format C stores rolled out across the country.
“All Format A stores are delivering sales uplifts while Format C stores are delivering sales and efficiency benefits,” Coles said in its full year 2020 results.
Coles has renewed 70 supermarkets overall this year as part of a plan a retail expert says will challenge its major competitors like Woolworths.
“Customers get a more bespoke treatment with a little more customisations, something more unique to them,” Retail Doctor Group CEO Brian Walker told Yahoo News Australia,
“Depending on the area and level of sophistication of the primary demographic, they have introduced more sophisticated products.”
Mr Walker said shoppers were now moving from the trolley to baskets, picking up less items and instead making more frequent trips to the supermarket.
“We’re becoming more urbanised and there are more working families than ever before,” he said.
“Supermarkets are becoming more of a one-stop shop and it becomes part of the habit. There are more locations of supermarkets than ever before so you can drop in on the way home and a lot more people are doing that.”
Mr Walker did not believe the supermarkets would cause a divide between suburbs with different social standings and said it was a customer driven initiative by what they were picking up at supermarkets in certain suburbs.
“People are looking for more personalised experiences,” he said.
“Supermarkets are able to get data on spend and the demographics visiting and so fourth, so can customise their offering.”
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