Coles has opened the newest store in its award-winning Coles Local format in Melbourne’s Hawthorn, with a focus on local sourcing that has thrown a lifeline to Victorian food suppliers struggling with the impact of COVID-19.
The store is just the third example of the new supermarket format tailored specifically to the needs of local customers, and incorporates a range of environmental initiatives to make it the most sustainable Coles supermarket in Australia.
Voted as one of the top 30 food retail stores worldwide to visit in 2020, Coles Local features free recycled customer carry boxes in place of bags, a dedicated eco-friendly product section, a zero edible food waste policy, reduced plastic packaging on fresh products, energy-efficient doors on fridges and team member uniforms made from 65 per cent recycled bottles.
The product range, selected to match the needs of local shoppers, includes products from 80 speciality local growers, bakers, producers and cafes – including iconic Melbourne cake and pastry maker Brunettis – after the Coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of their outlets.
Brunettis Owner, Yuri Angele was pleased to be partnering with Coles to offer an expanded range of sweets and pastries for customers.
“We are very excited to be partnering exclusively with Coles Local to offer a range of artisan desserts and we are very appreciative of the support received by them," said Angele.
Brunetti has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 with a 90 per cent reduction in its revenue.
“We have had to make some significant adjustments to our manufacturing capacities. Previously, Brunetti relied solely on its retail stores to generate income and this is the first time that we have pivoted our retail strategy to sell our products outside of our stores.”
Located next to Swinburne University Hawthorn, Coles Local Hawthorn has been tailored to the needs of the local customer base, which includes a high proportion of millennials. Coles customer research shows that millennials seek out food retailers that are both convenient and sustainable, and shop more regularly than customers from older demographics.
To reduce time spent at the checkout, Coles Local Hawthorn is also the first Coles supermarket to only accept card payments at self-scanning checkouts, with Coles research finding the vast majority of millennial shoppers always use cards to pay for their grocery shop.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the store had been designed to offer locals the most convenient end-to-end shopping experience possible.
“The smaller Coles Local format is designed to inspire customers and provide quality food through an in-store experience specifically tailored to the local community,” said Cain.
“We’ve delivered an offer that makes life easier for customers allowing them to move through the store efficiently, to get the ideal meal solution for their breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
“We are committed to becoming Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and this store in Melbourne is at the forefront of our strategy to achieve this.”
Coles Local stores have proven to be a hit with customers, with the company now planning to roll the format out to New South Wales, with Sydney’s first Coles Local supermarket to open in Rose Bay later this month.
The expanded convenience offering includes an extensive vegan and vegetarian range, Japanese mochi ice cream, self-serve barista-quality coffee from DC coffee roasters, a cinema-style candy bar and more than 350 lunch and dinner options that customers can prepare in 30 minutes or less.
The options for self-serve also extend to beloved four-legged friends with a supermarket first – frozen pet food ice cream so customers can spoil their pampered pooches with an irresistible icy offering.
Coles Local Hawthorn will employ 110 new team members with 88 per cent of the new team members living locally – within five kilometres of the store.
Customers will also notice a distinctly Hawthorn feel when they walk down Glenferrie road, with two murals from Melbourne-based designer Justine McAllister paying homage to local Hawthorn icons, including the Hawthorn Football Club.