In 2013, Woolworths opened its first ‘Metro’ store in Woolloomooloo, basically a Whole Foods-style supermarket with an emphasis on ready-to-go lunches, healthier food options, and organic, vegan, and artisan foods. Not a Kinder Surprise in sight!
Since then, they have expanded the idea up and down the east coast of Australia with great success, recently opening their fiftieth store in the Pitt Street Mall.
Coles are now joining the revolution, announcing they plan to open up to 120 stores over the next few years, with 1,500 products not available in regular Coles stores. The store is codenamed Project 535, which sounds like a top secret nuclear missile bunker, and will open in affluent and urban areas. The first store will open in Melbourne’s Surrey Hills.
“We have new formats that we are investing in,” Coles Chief Executive John Durkan told The Australian.
“We can’t get the size of the box we would ideally like in the high-density areas that we want — they are just not there — and what we can do is put a different offer in and we think there is anything between 80 and 100 sites across Australia where we can put these stores in.’
“These smaller formats tap into emerging customer trends of healthy eating and increased convenience.”
The supermarkets will look like this