Woolworths has outlined its vision for the future of Australian groceries amid its ongoing effort to stay ahead of rival Coles, unveiling its latest supermarket format yesterday in Sydney’s inner-west.
The Marrickville metro store will provide a blueprint for a national roll-out, expanding the supermarket giant’s fresh and convenience offers as well as implementing its and expanding range of pick-up services.
Services within the store include a ‘living lettuce’ instalment were customers can pick directly from a hydroponic set-up, an in-store cheese cave and an entire aisle for macro wholefood market products, containing more than 200 lines.
There is also a ready-to-go section at the front of the store for ready-eat meals, sandwiches, salads and juices – designed to position Woolworths as a competitive alternative to fast-food players in metro areas. Pick-up lockers are also installed at the store, following Group CEO Brad Banducci’s commitment to roll-out pick-up nationally at the supermarket giant’s full-year result last year.
Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters, who attended the launch yesterday in one of her first public outings since taking the top job at Australia’s largest grocer last year, said that the store is the “next evolution” in the Woolworths journey.
Woolworths Marrickville Metro marks the next evolution of our journey to create a neighbourhood food store that provides a great shopping experience for our customers, good prices on products they want, a great fresh offer and the convenience they are looking for.
“Our teams have spent a great deal of time understanding how our customers like to shop, looked across the globe for inspiration and designed the store with the local customer at the forefront to create this next generation grocery shopping experience. Every possible angle and aisle in this process has been revisited and the result is a rustic yet future-proof design with a real community spirit,” she said.
An adjacent Beer, Wine and Spirits store has also been renewed, with an eye on providing a “seamless” journey between both stores for ease of paying. An instore bakery, butcher and seafood offer is also available in-store, alongside a fresh sushi offer.
Sustainability has also emerged as a key focus for the supermarket giant, with its new format fitted out with energy efficient LED lighting and carbon efficient refrigeration and air conditioning systems. It will also help to reduce Woolworths’ power bill, which has soared in the last 18 months amid increasing electricity prices.
“We’re also committed to reducing our impact on the environment and operating our stores more sustainably, so a lot has changed behind the scenes too. We’ve fitted out the store with LED lights to reduce power usage, switched to carbon-efficient refrigeration and air-conditioning systems and have an area in-store where customers can bring in their soft plastics to be recycled,” Peters said.
More details on Woolworths’ plans for the format are expected when the company reports its interim result in February, but this latest move will be a challenge to Wesfarmers’ owned Coles, which has struggled to keep pace with the resurgent brand in the last eight months.