Coles reveals bold change to weekly specials catalogue

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·4-min read

Coles has announced the end of its distribution of physical catalogues in favour of a digital channel designed to meet escalating demand for online services.

The supermarket revealed on Tuesday it would be doing away with traditional letterbox drops and replacing it with its new coles&co platform, which is set to launch on Thursday.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said ceasing the delivery of printed catalogues would save more than 10,000 tonnes of paper every year – the equivalent of an estimated 80,000 trees.

“Since 2000 we have delivered around 200 billion pages of weekly catalogues to letterboxes across Australia,” Mr Cain said in a statement.

A Coles store is pictured in a file image. The supermarket will stop delivering traditional catalogues.
Coles will stop delivering traditional catalogues. Source: Getty Images

“We’re committed to being Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and reducing our reliance on paper by prioritising digital channels like coles&co is a significant step towards that goal.”

Some printed catalogues will continue to be available in stores on a weekly basis, with letterbox drops set to finish entirely by September 9.

Coles had suspended printed catalogues earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There were mixed opinions following the change, with some in support of the move due to its environmental benefits and others critical out of concern for elderly customers.

How to find Coles weekly specials

By creating an account on the coles&co platform, customers will be able to gain access to exclusive content and previews of weekly specials.

Additionally, a “shoppable” specials feature is expected to make it easier for customers to do their shopping from their digital devices.

A set of hands using the new coles&co platform on their smartphone.
The new platform is set to launch on Thursday and fully replace physical catalogues by September 9. Source: Coles Group

By tapping on a product featured on coles&co, customers can add it straight to their basket and then check out as they normally would when shopping on coles.com.au.

The platform will eventually provide daily updates with recipes and tips by Coles chefs and contributors like celebrity chef Curtis Stone, the supermarket said.

“As customers add more fresh food to their diet they’re shopping more often, and their appetite for immediacy and digital information means a weekly, one-size-fits-all, catalogue in their letterbox is no longer as relevant for them as it once was” Mr Cain said.

An image of a Coles weekly specials catalogue.
The Coles weekly specials catalogue. Source: Facebook/Lederer Shopping Centre

“We’re using our digital capabilities to replace it with something more personalised. As we add new features, this could include recipes that change daily rather than weekly, as well as tailored content on food and drink trends.”

As the platform is phased in, Coles said it would invest more in its digital content, and the functions it can perform for customers and suppliers.

Coles and AFL launch kids program

This week Coles also partnered with the AFL to deliver its first program designed to help kids aged seven to 14 live healthier lives.

A variety of resources centred around healthy cooking, mindfulness and exercise, will be disguised in enjoyable content shared to the AFL website and its YouTube channel.

Past and present AFL players will feature in the content with the aim of teaching kids how to cook easy and healthy food at home, with meals from other cultures to be demonstrated weekly.

Kids can also take part in strength, mobility and flexibility sessions hosted by former Geelong and Adelaide footy player James Podsiadly.

Specialists in health and wellness will host segments on nutrition and mindfulness in what’s designed to help kids develop their “independence and make healthy life choices”.

“We know that as kids grow older, their healthy eating habits can decline. Our customers insights show that fewer than one in two pre-teens eat fruit and fewer than one in five eat vegetables each day,” Coles Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson said.

“This program is focussed on helping kids develop their independence and make healthy life choices. It’s designed to inspire them with fun exercises and wellness routines they can do in their homes.

“We’re proud to support Aussie kids, and hope they love Coles Healthy Kicks as much as we’ve loved creating it.”

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