Coles has taken a shot at discount department stores, such as Kmart and Big W, with a limited-time expansion into a larger homewares range.
Until August 25, the supermarket will offer 101 new items for the home, such as cushions, throw rugs, lamps, vases and picture frames priced between $2 and $30.
“For more than a century Coles has been constantly evolving to meet customer needs and we’re committed to continuing that legacy of innovation,” Coles chief executive for commercial and express Greg Davis said.
“We think customers are going to love the new homewares range, and it’s another great example of how we are inspiring customers by offering them something that’s not only great quality and value, but goes beyond what they expected when they walked into our store.”
According to Coles, the range was created with an emphasis on quality and value, with 70 per cent of the items priced at $10 or less.
Coles senior communications manager Craig Little confirmed to Inside Retail that some limited-edition items will be available to purchase in all stores, though the size of the range will vary store-to-store. Should the collection prove popular, Little said Coles may consider offering a similar range again in the future.
The range gives Coles a way to differentiate from its category rival Woolworths. Instead, the supermarket will compete with discount department stores, at least for a short period of time, which tend to attract customers to browse a complete range rather than heading in with a shopping list in hand.
Queensland University of Technology associate professor of marketing Gary Mortimer told Inside Retail that selectively promoting the range is a smart move, as it allows the supermarket to compete with discount department stores, but indirectly.
“Coles appears to be taking a leaf out of the Aldi playbook by bringing in ‘on trend’ products, for a short period of time. This strategy creates interest and urgency,” Mortimer told Inside Retail.
“Supermarket shopping is a relatively mundane, habitual activity, so if you can introduce new ranges or categories, even for a short period of time, it gives shoppers the opportunity to engage with new and exciting products.”
Mortimer said that such limited-edition ranges are likely to be placed within the ‘seasonal’ areas within Coles stores – areas set aside for Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas products and the like.
Such areas will be filled with lunch boxes and stationery during Back to School periods; chips, soft drinks and stubby holders during footy finals; and limited-edition homewares between such events.
“What supermarkets are now doing is better utilising these areas,” Mortimer said.
“This is about profit maximisation, utilising dead space set aside for seasonal events and increasing foot traffic and customer experiences.”
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