Coles opens 'Australian-first' supermarket with unique new features

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Environmentally conscious shoppers are celebrating after Coles announced an Australian-first for one of its stores.

The retailer officially opened its Coles Local supermarket in Chatswood, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, on Wednesday.

The supermarket is a first for Coles in Australia and will offer a host of innovative features including a station where customers can refill bottles with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and laundry liquid.

The ecostore refill station will also provide reusable bottles made from recycled and sugarcane plastic, removing the need for shoppers to buy a new plastic bottle every time they shop.

Chatswood Coles Local as it officially launches.
Chatswood Local is the first Australian Coles to offer an ecostore refill station to customers. Source: Getty Images

Customers choose either a small or large refill bottle, select the product they want to fill it with and apply a matching sticker, pump the product into the bottle, then pay for it at the checkout as normal.

“As we make progress on our mission to be Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, we’re increasingly looking at new and inventive ways to reduce packaging on certain products,” Thinus Keevé, Coles Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Officer, said.

“This new ecostore station is a first for an Australian supermarket, which we hope will resonate well with customers.”

Ecostore refill stations introduced in Australia

The ecostore refill stations have been introduced in more than 80 New Zealand stores, but until now have never been available in Australia.

“We are thrilled to bring the first in-supermarket ecostore Refill Station trial for home and personal care products to Australian customers, at the new Coles Local Chatswood store,” Pablo Kraus, Ecostore Managing Director, said.

Ecostore refill station inside Coles Local Chatswood.
Shoppers will be able to dodge single-use plastics by using this ecostore refill station. Source: Getty Images

“People are used to bringing in their reusable supermarket bags; now they can also bring in their reusable ecostore refill bottles to conveniently refill their home and personal care products at the supermarket.”

The refill station was spotted by an excited shopper inside the Chatswood store last month, but Coles remained tight lipped on the launch until this week.

“Saw this at the new Coles Local at Chatswood Westfield today,” the woman wrote, sharing a photo of the refill station.

Many were just as enthused by the service and announced they were eager to try it out for themselves.

“Awesome. I have been searching the internet for places that do this,” one person wrote in a comment.

Pet food bar pictured inside Coles Local in Chatswood, Sydney.
The new store has a dedicated pet treat bar and ice cream made just for dogs. Source: Getty Images

“Fantastic. These are my favourite products and I’ve been driving to Flora and Fauna every few months to refill. This will be much easier,” another said.

“So good! Thanks for sharing,” a third wrote.

Other unique features to come for Coles Local

The Coles Local will also feature other unique elements including a premium coffee and orange juice station, and a macaron, mini gelato and Japanese mochi ice cream parlour.

More than 200 plant-based food products will be available, as well as ice cream just for dogs.

A dedicated aisle will feature more than 600 Asian products from brands including Samyang, Lotte and Haitai to make up the biggest selection of Asian products for Coles nationwide.

There will also be 25 bilingual staff members available for easier communication with customers whose first language might not be English.

Coles said 35 jobs would be created for locals and more than 35 Sydney-based businesses including butchers, bakers and cafes would be supported by the Chatswood Local supermarket.

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