The secret Coles stockroom craze the supermarket wants to ban

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·Associate News Editor
·4-min read
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It's the latest craze to sweep Coles stores across the nation.

But unlike other trends to hit the supermarket in recent years, such as its hugely-popular Little Shop collectables, this one is not for customers.

Coles employees have embraced a new trend exclusively for members of staff where they attempt to claim the crown of either the 'King' or 'Queen of Coles'.

A Coles worker with a crown emoji on black crates made into a throne pictured on the left. On the right is another employee sitting on boxes fashioned into a throne.
The original post (left) that triggered the craze with one of his challengers (right). Source: Facebook

The craze involves creating a throne either back of house or in-between aisles before posting a photo of it to an employees' group on Facebook, with more than a dozen contributions over the past 72 hours.

And while Coles say they are pleased to see community spirit amongst staff, it is calling for the trend to come to an end due to safety concerns.

"We take safety at Coles extremely seriously and while we are glad our team members are proud to work at Coles, we caution against erecting any structures from boxes or crates that may be unsafe," a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

'King of Coles' post prompts huge response

Beginning on Monday, one employee shared an image of himself on a throne made from milk crates, with a crown emoji on top of his head.

In his caption, he tells Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindells: "I am the king now."

The photo prompted a wave of likes and comments, many in awe of his creativity.

"Hail to the King," one person proclaimed, while others vowed to build their own. Others disputed his claim to the throne.

Since the inaugural image, more than a dozen fellow employees from varying departments have challenged the staff member with their own creative images, building thrones from an array of materials.

First came a throne made from chip boxes from a staff member claiming to be the "real king".

A man and a woman sitting on red crates at Coles in two separate photos.
Two contenders on Coles-red crates. Source: Facebook
Two 'Queen of Coles' contenders sitting on boxes (left) and sacks (right).
Two women who stake a claim for the Queen of Coles. Source: Facebook

Yet others questioned his work attire and some dissected his creation.

"Now they have ass-flavoured chips!" one onlooker claimed.

Another worker shared his Coles-red throne complete with a makeshift crown.

"Just so you know I am the righteous King of Coles,' he claimed.

Their attempts were followed by thrones made from more milk crates, fresh produce crates, toilet paper, bottled water and even banana boxes.

And Tuesday brought the first female entrant, who informed male colleagues she was here to take charge.

Two Coles employees sitting on water bottles (left) and Coca-Cola cans (right) shaped into a throne.
Two original ideas incorporating drinks products. Source: Facebook

"Heard that some of you boys think that you’re the Kings of Coles, sorry lads, this is now a matriarchy and your Deli Queen is taking over," she captioned an image of herself on top of her throne made of black crates.

"My new idol!" one person declared as more people vowed to emulate her efforts.

The craze has been hailed by hundreds of staff members, with some saying it has boosted staff morale and others saying it is "hilarious" and "wild".

Others questioned where staff members were getting the time to create such extravagant structures.

One contributor dubbed the competition 'Game of Thrones'.

Two separate photos of men sitting on toilet paper rolls shaped into a throne.
Two challengers paying tribute to a panic-buying staple. Source: Facebook

Coles workers let their hair down after tough year

Supermarket workers have been at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic narrative, particularly in the early months as panic buying plagued the nation ahead of a range of restrictions implemented by states and territories.

Social media was awash last year with videos of customers behaving badly as they grappled for toilet roll and other sought-after items. In several instances staff copped abuse as tensions boiled over.

In March, supermarkets banded together to take out a newspaper advertisement to remind shoppers to treat their employees with respect during the coronavirus crisis.

“There are thousands of your fellow Australians who are working tirelessly across our stores everyday,” the ad taken out by Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA read.

One hundred thousand frontline workers at the company were given bonuses in March and April for stepping up during an "intense" period of "unprecedented demand and pressure", CEO Steven Cain said.

In September, amid Victoria's devastating second wave, Premier Daniel Andrews singled out supermarket workers for the "amazing job" they played during the state's lockdown.

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