Woolworths has opened its smallest Metro store to date in Sydney’s CBD.

Located on York Street, the 310sqm store opened this week and takes the total number of Metro stores to 16, with seven stores in both New South Wales and Victoria, and two stores in Queensland.

The Woolworths Metro format was first launched by the supermarket chain in 2013 in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. The express style stores are understood to generally operate on an average footprint of around 600sqm and are located in inner city, high foot traffic locations.

A Woolworths spokesperson told C&I Week the supermarket giant plans to open more Metro stores in Sydney and Melbourne over the next few months in CBD and urban areas.

“We know the Metro concept is resonating with our customers so we intend to continue to expand this format throughout NSW, Victoria and Queensland. We’re also opening soon in a couple of other CBD and urban areas in both Melbourne and Sydney,” the spokesperson said.

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Exterior of Woolworths Metro, York Street

‘Grab and go’ a growing focus
Australia convenience store sales (excluding fuel) reached almost $8 billion in 2015, according to the Australasian Association of Convenience Store’s (AACS) State of the Industry (SOI) report.

The channel reported value growth of 3.7 per cent year on year, outpacing grocery (1.1 per cent) for the fourth consecutive year. The on-the-go food category grew 13 per cent in 2015, up from 3 per cent value growth in 2014.

The AACS SOI report noted one of the convenience channel’s growing strengths is the demise of the traditional weekly shop and the growing rise of ‘top up’ shopping missions by consumers.

Metro stores offer a tailored range of products, placing a large focus on ‘grab and go’ solutions and ready-made meals. A $9 lunch deal is available at Metro stores which involves customers selecting a sandwich (or wrap or salad) with a snack and drink. It has been reported Woolworths is looking to extend this meal deal offer to include dinner items.

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Woolworths Metro, York Street

“Our new Metro store on York Street has opened [Tuesday] offering increased choice and convenience including lots of ‘grab and go’ meal options for breakfast and lunch, and full meals for dinner. The store’s range will also mean customers can do smaller mini-shops or ‘top up’ shops.”

Coles has also capitalised on the growing trend of grab and go meal solutions. Last month the supermarket chain introduced more than 40 ready-made meals under its private label range.

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