Supermarket giant Coles opened the doors to the first of its ‘Coles Local’ smaller format stores in Melbourne’s Surrey Hills yesterday, debuting a completely new look to the traditional red and white stores customers will be familiar with.
The rustic style of the neighbourhood store suits the tailored, sustainable offering that the store promises. About half the size of a full-size Coles supermarket, the new store stands at about 1280sqm and is designed specifically to meet the needs of the local community with a range of local and imported products.
Customers can take advantage of the store’s in-store barista and chef, a food waste digester, 100 per cent Australian-grown fresh food, as well as the first Coles Local branded products.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said the new store gives the community “the convenience of a supermarket with the character of a specialty store”.
“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,” Cain said.
The Surrey Hills store has a big focus on supporting Australian suppliers, sourcing products from Backyard Honey, Meatsmith, Brunetti, MoVida and more. Its fresh food offering including meat and seafood is 100 per cent Australian-grown.
Keeping up with consumer’s ever changing eating habits, the new store offers an extensive vegetarian and vegan range, including the Beyond Meat range. There is also plenty in the line of sweet treats and baked goods including exclusive Brunetti panettones, noisette pastries as well as the Laurent range of bread, cakes and pastries.
Surrey Hills customers will also be the first in Australia to have access to the new Coles Local range which includes its own line of convenience meals and prepared fruit and veg.
Locals have the opportunity to chat through recipe ideas and seek advice from a resident chef at the store’s “Foodie Hub”. The hub offers product samples for customers to try and features meats from famed Melbourne chef Andrew McConnell’s Meatsmith.
Another big focus of the local store is sustainability. The store has a zero edible food waste policy and features a food digester which uses water and microbes to partly digest inedible food waste. The waster is then sent to a local waste water treatment plant where it is turned into renewable energy. All edible food waste will be donated to Australian charity SecondBite.
In addition, the store’s refrigeration features a closed water loop system and energy efficient design.
The new store is part of Coles’ $120 million investment in Victoria over the next 10 months. It has created almost 80 new local jobs and Coles’ Steven Cain hopes that the store can make a real difference to the local community.
The mini supermarket will contribute to the area through partnerships with community groups including the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Community Centre and Surrey Hills Rotary Club.
“We’re here to be part of Surrey Hills. Our customers have told us that they want to shop in a sustainable store that reduces food waste and helps the local community,” Cain said.
Coles said it will listen carefully to customer feedback on the Surrey Hills store as it plans the roll out of more smaller format stores in the coming years.