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16 . 11 . 2017

Woolworths has opened its first next generation store at Warringah Mall on Sydney’s northern beaches last week.

The new store allows consumers to pick organic fruit and vegetables from the “largest organics range available” within a Woolworths. Health is a predominant focus of the new look store, with 26 bays in one aisle dedicated solely to healthy eating options with a large selection of new on-trend health foods and self-serve bulk foods and nuts.

Other new features of the multi-million dollar upgrade include an expanded freshly made in-store sushi section and a dedicated butcher cutting the meat to customers specifications, while also offering to spice and season. A cheese room with a dedicated full time cheese expert will offer more than 100 locally sourced Australian cheeses, while the marketplace feel of the fruit and vegetables section will extend throughout the store.

Speaking to Inside Retail, Woolworths format development director, Rob McCartney said the Warringah store is a fair representation of what to expect from the conglomerate’s nationwide renewal program, building on work done to stores throughout the past year.

“We know organics is on the rise with 20 per cent year on year growth in the organics fruit and vegetables category,” he said. “We also know customers are looking for bespoke shopping experiences and our butcher and bakery for example will allow them to make greater individual choices when it comes to preparing their family meal or preparing for a special occasion.

“At this stage the plan is to see how our customers engage with the new shopping experiences and further enhance them as we evolve our renewal program over the coming 12 months.”

Woolies have earmarked 100 stores across the country for renewal over the coming year.

Woolworths see the ‘health’ offering as a key point of differentiation, in line with its store renewal program.

“Our customers are seeking new ways to add healthier options to their shop and this store has been laid out and designed to provide as many options as possible for their individual dietary needs,” said McCartney.

“We know health will become increasingly important for our customers and this store will provide us with a template to understand how they are choosing to shop and what further enhancements we will need to make to our health offering as the renewal program evolves.”
McCartney said the planning process for the new design began last year, with the design evolving as each new renewed store opens.

The execution of the Warringah Mall renewal was executed over two months while the store remained open for customers.


Original article - Dimitri Sotiropoulos - Inside Retail

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