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Coles is building two new automated distribution centres and is partnering Uber Eats in Australia.

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Coles has introduced a Christmas version of its highly popular collectables promotion, Little Shop.

Five mini items to collect in total

Coles' Little shop collectables campaign was highly successful earlier this year, helping drive a significant improvement in the retailer's performance and allowing it to post its strongest quarterly sales in two years. Coles has now reintroduced the initiative with a Christmas twist, with five new collectable items including mince pies, Pavlova slabs, ice cream, bonbons and gingerbread biscuits. As before, customers will receive a collectible for every AU$30 spent at the supermarket, plus they can buy a collector's case to store the items.

Reacting to Woolworths' Christmas collectables promotion

The move by Coles counters that of Woolworths. Acknowledging the success of the campaign by Coles earlier in the year, Woolworths launched its own Christmas collectables promotions a few weeks ago, offering Christmas themed pop-out cardboard figure collectables to shoppers. Collectables have become a popular promotional mechanic in Australia in recent years and the success of either retailers' campaign over the festive period is likely to play an important role in the Q2 performance of both retailers.

Coles has opened a new Coles Local neighbourhood supermarket format in Surrey Hills, Melbourne.

Half the size of a typical Coles supermarket

The new format at 1,280 sq m is half the size of a typical Coles supermarket and the launch is a culmination of a two-year project by the retailer. The store is designed to tap into the changing needs of Australian shoppers, with a tailored in-store experience and range that meets the needs of the local community.

Source: Coles

Australian and convenience focus on range

The store focuses on products sourced from Australian suppliers, as well as 100% Australian-grown fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood. It features an in-store barista, as well as a new concept called the ‘Foodie Hub’ where a chef offers product samples and cooking inspiration to shoppers. The store is the first in Australia to offer new convenience meals and prepared fruit and veg under a new private label brand, Coles Local.

Source: Coles

Strong local community appeal a core element

As well as offering a more convenient and tailored experience, the new format aims to be a good neighbour. The store aims for zero edible food waste, will contribute to the local community groups including Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Community Centre and the local Rotary Club, plus the majority of the 81 staff members are from the local or surrounding area.

Tapping into a growing Australian and global trend

Woolworths has been actively rolling out its Metro format over the past few years, a similar convenience / neighbourhood supermarket format that has seen positive sales growth. The new format from Coles will look to muscle in on this success and is clearly designed to tap into the changing needs of Australian shoppers, who prefer to shop little and often for their groceries. Globally store footprints are shrinking, plus convenience and online grocery retailing are the fastest growing channels, we don’t foresee why these trends will not also shape the Australian retail landscape in the years to come.

Making life easier for customers

Coles CEO, Steven Cain, commented, The great thing about Coles Local is that it makes life easier for our customers and helps them explore their love of food. Our customers have told us they’re often juggling shopping with a busy family and work schedule, so there will always be a friendly team member who can help them find the specialty products they want to take home for their families.”

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Claire Rawlins has left her role as chief innovation officer at Coles after only six months, joining Salesforce as senior vice president, strategic advisor.

Significant changes at Coles lie ahead

Rawlins was brought into the Coles business earlier this year to oversee its increasing investment in digital and online shopping, however has left the role after just a few months. Coles is going through significant change currently, with a new managing director, Steven Cain, taking over from John Durkan this month and the imminent demerger of the retailer from Wesfarmers due in November.

Led digital transformation at Coles’ key rival Woolworths

Between 2012 and 2014, Rawlins led digital transformation at Coles’ key rival Woolworths. The role that Rawlins undertook at Woolworths included design of innovative products and services to create competitive edge in the market. For example, development of apps, ethical use of data and personal digital assets to provide better service.



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