Coles’ most sustainable supermarket yet

5th May 2020 | Eativity editors

Coles has thrown a lifeline to Victorian food suppliers who are struggling with the impact of COVID-19, opening its newest store in Melbourne’s Hawthorn with a focus on local sourcing.

The store is an example of a new supermarket format that’s tailored specifically to the needs of local customers, and also incorporates a range of environmental initiatives that have made it the most sustainable Coles supermarket in Australia.

Coles Local features free recycled customer carry boxes in place of plastic bags, a dedicated eco-friendly product section, a policy to encourage zero edible food waste, reduced plastic packaging on fresh products, energy-efficient doors on fridges and team member uniforms that are made from 65% recycled bottles.

The majority of the new Coles staff live within 5km of the store.

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 COVID-19 forced the closure of their outlets.

Brunetti Cafe owner Yuri Angele says he is pleased to be partnering with Coles, as it has allowed the business 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,” he says. “Brunetti has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, with a 90% reduction in our 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.”

The product range showcases the wares of local growers and producers.

Located next to Swinburne University, 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.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain says the store has 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,” he says. “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.”

Billy the British bulldog checks out the treats on offer.

Coles Local stores have proven to be a hit with customers, and the company now plans to roll the format out to NSW, with Sydney’s first Coles Local to open in Rose Bay this month.

The expanded convenience offering includes an extensive vegan and vegetarian range, Japanese mochi ice cream, self-serve barista-quality coffee from DC Speciality 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 four-legged customers with a supermarket first: frozen pet food ice cream, so dog-loving shoppers can spoil their pooch with an icy treat.