The undercurrents of retail foodservice customer migration have hit hard in Australia. In fact two of the largest grocery store chains Coles and Woolworths are focusing on opening new smaller footprint stores, focusing on Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in an attempt to garner back customers lost to the convenience store sector.
NACS online reports that “In Sydney, Woolworths has been grabbing up 200- to 400-square meter spaces for locations designed to compete with 7-Eleven and City Convenience stores. “We have a small number of smaller format supermarkets that are designed to best meet the needs of the local community,” said a Woolworths spokesman. At the “Woolworths Small Format,” the locations will have a more restrictive product range and will be “feeder” stores to the medium-sized Woolies Metro locations.”
With continued urbanization Australia’s consumers are time starved, multi-cultural seeking full flavored fresh food options nearby and the C-stores are providing just that. Grocery stores attempting to maintain relevance and staying close to the consumer need to downsize the footprint while increasing fresh options.
Jeff Rogut, CEO of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, told NACS while in the United States attending the NACS Show. The number of Australians living in cities is behind a new golden age for convenience stores in general. The question is what will become of legacy grocery stores?
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