Coles Local Manly opened in December, and with its uniquely local range and an aesthetic that captures the essence of the beachside suburb, the store is already one of the highest-ranking stores for customer satisfaction across the chain.

Michael Fahd, Head of Coles Local, explained to C&I that Coles constantly runs customer surveys to determine how satisfied they are with their shop, and Coles Local Manly is currently sitting in the top five per cent of all stores.

“Our new Coles Local Manly store is very popular among our customers – we’re seeing very high customer satisfaction metrics. The two big highlights that are called out by our customers are around the range and the look and feel of the store.”

Coles Local Manly has been tailored to meet the needs of Manly beachgoers with a product range curated with more than 500 local and international specialty cheeses, smoked meats, dips, antipasto, and meats from gourmet Sydney butcher Field to Fork – all aimed to elevate the humble beachside barbecue to a five-star experience.

The store features innovations including ice cream just for dogs, an in-store coffee and fresh juice station, a macaron, mini gelato and Japanese mochi ice cream parlour, and a large health and entertaining range.

Fahd told C&I that more than 1,500 unique SKUs were injected into the Coles Local Manly store, from around 150 unique suppliers.

“With all of our Coles Local stores, we include a range of products that we already know are in demand and selling well within that area and we top it up with everything that is unique, health conscious and what we think will really resonate with the locals – and all of those additional products are unique to Coles Local.”

It is this extra attention to detail that has seen an increase in basket size across all Coles Local stores.

“It tells us that customers are increasingly doing their larger weekly shop with us. To see that number continue to grow shows that the Coles Local brand is really resonating with our customers.

Coles Local Manly’s product range has been designed to reflect the high proportion of busy professionals living in the area who shop more regularly than a typical Coles customer, with more than 800 ready-to-eat meals, snacks and salads and 200 vegetarian options designed to make dinner easier.

With Manly over-indexing on dog spending, Coles Local Manly has also come to the party, with frozen pet food ice cream and a scoop and weigh station offering tasty canine treats like kangaroo tails and crocodile sausage bites. The growing trend of gourmet pet treats is backed up by Coles customer research showing Aussies have increased spending on their furry friends by 50 per cent in just three years.

Coles Local Manly supports local suppliers, sourcing products directly from 35 local butchers, bakers and cafes, including bagels from Sydney’s first true artisan New York bagel maker Brooklyn Bagel Boy, restaurant-quality pasta, salads and meals from Pasta Pantry and artisan sourdough bread, muffins and sweets from Sydney bakery Sonoma.

The store also champions sustainability, with a range of in-store innovations designed to cut food waste and reduce environmental impact.

Trolleys are made from 75 per cent reclaimed plastic, free recycled carry boxes are available in place of bags, unsold food that cannot be donated to food charities is diverted to organic composting and green energy generation, and team member name tags and uniforms also feature part-recycled materials.

“Sustainability is massive for Coles and what we’ve tried to do in Coles Local is to test and learn things to see how they work and then we can flow those ideas back into our wider fleet,” says Fahd.

“We have a zero edible foods waste policy so everything that is edible that doesn’t get sold is donated to Second Bite and anything that isn’t edible goes to an organic waste station where it’s recycled and regenerated.”

Supporting local artists, the new store layout features a mural from Sydney-based artist Katherine Brickman, also known as Greedy Hen, celebrating Manly’s natural beauty and coastal way of life.

“As soon as you walk in, you are blown away from the local artist mural. Katherine Brickman has designed an awesome mural of everything that is famous in Manly. It literally feels like you’re entering an aquarium at the beginning because you’re surrounded by all of these fish, and then you feel like you’re on the wharf. It makes people feel like it truly is their local store,” says Fahd.

Currently there are six Coles Local stores with three in NSW and three in Victoria, and this year, the format will expand into Brisbane.

“We’re happy with the concept and more importantly we’re happy with what our customers are telling us about the concept and we’re looking forward to opening more Coles Locals in the future.”

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