Australia's latest convenience format

Date : 11 November 2019

Woolworths launched a new convenience format at the start of November called MetroGo, we assess the concept and what it could mean for the market.

What is MetroGo?

The new format, at just 50 sq m, is a smaller version of its Metro stores that it has been rolling out over the past few years. While these Metro stores have been focused on servicing a mixture of neighbourhood and CBD locations, the new store on Elizabeth Street near Sydney's Central Station is very much tailored for busy professionals and passing trade, providing healthy meal solutions on the go. The store is operational from just 6am to 6pm on a daily basis.

What can shoppers expect?

The store has just over 640 SKUs that are focused on providing healthy breakfast, lunch and snacking solutions throughout the day, plus cold drinks and hot and cold bakery items. It also has a small range of basic everyday essentails, such as milk, bread and eggs. The store has scan & go technology incorporated, which Woolworths has been testing at six other Sydney stores, allowing shoppers to scan products using their smartphone and tap out to compete their shopping experience. Shoppers can even pre-order coffee and food via the Skip app. Woolworths said shoppers could expect to be in the store for no more than three minutes at a time.

What next?

The Woolworths Metro concept was developed following the trial of an urban format store in Sydney's Woolloomooloo in 2013 and by the end of its FY19 it had 43 Metro and 16 small Woolworths supermarkets operational under the Metro team. If successful the MetroGo concept will enable Wooworths to significantly scale up its presence in the convenience market, particualrly in central urban locations with high footfall, as well as at major transport hubs. In the right locations, these smaller stores, combined with technology efficiencies, will enable Woolworths to drive strong sales densities and save on labour costs, helping to offset the higher rental rates that come with these types of location.