Will these changes spell the end for the Aussie supermarket as we know it?

There are some major changes coming to our supermarkets that may shock regular shoppers. Years ago, self-serve checkouts changed grocery

There are some major changes coming to our supermarkets that may shock regular shoppers. Years ago, self-serve checkouts changed grocery shopping entirely, and now two new concepts could do the same.

The first is Woolworths’ Click n Collect lockers. Many of us have seen these outside Woolies stores however what you may not have seen are these lockers positioned outside train stations. Well, that’s what’s coming.

The new service by Woolworths will aim to kill off supermarket queues for good, and the idea is you order your groceries online in the morning, then pick them up in the afternoon on your way home.

Woolworths has partnered with Sydney Trains to test the initiative at Bondi Junction station, one of the state’s busiest with about 20,000 commuters passing through it each day.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said “We’re trying to get customers home quicker and avoid the mad afternoon dash to the shops,” Mr Constance said.

“Everyone has time pressures, so we thought ‘why not help train customers save time and be able to pick up their groceries at the station on the way home?’”

The specially designed lockers come with built-in refrigeration, allowing shoppers to order chilled and frozen goods.

Orders must be placed by 11am for pick-up that evening, with a minimum spend of $30.

A Nielsen report last year found that only five per cent of Australian shoppers ordered groceries online and picked them up using a drive-through service — despite 53 per cent saying they wanted that service.

Kate Langford, Woolworths’ general manager of digital retail, told News Corp Woolworths was exploring “new and innovative ways to serve our customers and make their shopping easier”.

“Now our customers will be able to collect their groceries at the station on their way home which is great for commuters,” Mrs Langford said.

The second concept to shake up our grocery shop comes from an unlikely source: David Jones. The department store has never been involved in the supermarket sector however the group chief Ian Moir is confident they will be able to enter and succeed.

It’s going to revolutionise grocery shopping in Australia, according to Mr Moir. “People aren’t getting a good enough experience from food shopping in Australia,” he told SMH.

“There’s no equivalent to (UK upmarket food retailer) Waitrose… and yet there is a consumer base that would respond to that”.

“Over the coming year we will make some transformational changes to the business,” Mr Moir said.

“This could be a big business in time…and we believe we will get a great return on capital but we have to get it right”, he admitted.

Waitrose is known as a high quality grocer, so would this concept succeed in Australia when consumers consistently look for value and price?

Share your thoughts below.

  1. if your talking about ALDI you have to line up to shop there STUPID IDEA……….they should have opened all the stores at the same time

    • Yes, I said the same, 3 stores opened up south of Adeliade, and on the same day, only one store opened in the north, which is far more densely populated!

    • The north might be more densely populated, Sheila, but the south has a lack of infrastructure, and shopping facilities, so this was a boost for the south. 2 of my children live in the northern suburbs, and we live in the south. We are always amazed by how much more there is in the north

    • Went to Aldi in Parafield today – what a disappointment. No queue but small shop and not a lot to choose from. The fresh vegetables I must say looked much better than Woolies veg.

    • Maureen Hogan I didn’t mean to infer that you don’t need several Aldi stores down south, I mean’t they shouldn’t have only one store open up here because everyone has flocked to it and it has caused absolute chaos. They should have waited until all the stores in the north (4 in all I believe) are ready to open. That way we wouldn’t have had this huge influx of shoppers from as far away as the Barossa valley all descend on one small shop in Parafield Gardens causing huge traffic problems and hassles for the people who live in the vicinity.

  2. So for those of us who do not live anywhere near a railway station how does this service help people like me then? Home delivery is a better option for many persons house bound.

    • Wouldn’t suit me either. I like to pick my own products. For instance I may always buy a certain brand of toilet paper but if another was on a really good special, I might pick it.

      • Robyn rylands  

        If you shop on line you can view the specials and pick those if you want to. I’ve had groceries delivered from Coles after I’ve shopped on line and the quality of meat, fruit and veg has been excellent.

  3. The customer always has the last say in the matter and if they don’t like what they see,they’ll go elsewhere.It works both ways,look after your loyal customers and they’ll keep the tills ringing.

  4. I like to see what I am buying. Retired so no need to shop online. If I did shop on line I would prefer home delivery.

    • I am the same as Rosemary. I do not want other people choose my groceries.

      • June Montgomery  

        I have always liked to see what I buy, I don’t buy anything unless I have seen it, doesn’t matter what product it is.

    • I shop on line with Coles. I started a couple of years ago when I was having chemotherapy and couldn’t drive the half our to our normal shop. In that time I have only had one item missing, and a refund docket was placed on my account as I spoke to the customer service operator. I rarely buy perishables from a supermarket, so there is no need to me to worry about the freshness of meat or vegetables. Anything else… well a tin of tomatoes is a tin of tomatoes, regardless who picks it up from the shelf. I specify the brand/ size and that’s what I get.

  5. This article is so inaccurate.I am not yet 60 but remember going shopping with my mother at David Jones Warringah Mall and doing shopping in their supermarket ( complete with trolley or hand basket) This is separate to the speciality sections of the deli,biscuits,butchers,seafood

  6. Woolies idea fine for commuters.I like to select my own produce.The Waitrose idea works in the UK,but,in my opinion much of what they sell is already on sale in places like Harris Farms and others.

  7. Tried on line grocery shopping with home delivery. We ended up calling it “mystery shopping.” It was an adventure when the groceries arrived finding what we didn’t order and what hadn’t been delivered as ordered. One week we lived like kings with a large parcel of scotch fillet steak delivered. Still wondering who got our sausages.

    • Yeah and I didn’t like it either Tim for that reason and also I shop at 4 supermarkets to get the best savings and this way only makes you shop through one – not thanks – Woollies and Coles have had a monopoly for way too long and need a shake up

  8. will never order fresh fruit & vegies online. i need to eyeball them as delivered ones aren’t always that good.

  9. Good old Woolworths hey, telling you how much you have to spend top get this service, what if you only need a loaf of bread and a packet of cheese, do you have to buy up to $30 of things you don’t need ,of course you do or you can go and get stuffed. I’m surprised Woolworths don’t have a minimum spend on everyone that walks into their stores.

    • peter allder  

      shh don’t give them ideas ,,,ooops too late

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