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The Retail Panel: How is the grocery industry evolving in 2018?

February 05, 2018

Last Thursday, our CEO Dominique Lamb, and a panel of retail experts discussed the future of Australia’s grocery industry on ABC Radio. Below are some insights from the discussion.

While the lower end of the grocery market dominated by Aldi, and Coles and Woolworths dominate the mainstream market, David Jones has seized the opportunity at the top end of the grocery market.

David Jones is about to launch a standalone food store – with an emphasis on convenience, fresh and gourmet food. Associate Professor Gary Mortimer (QUT Business School) says there is certainly a market for stores like these in certain parts of Australia, such as South Yarra where the first store will open in 2019.

David Jones said that the new store format store is designed to cater to the busy lifestyles of the area’s residents, with an emphasis on fresh premium produce, including pre-packed meat and seafood, and a comprehensive convenience selection comprised of pre-prepared vegetables, salads and fruit as well as innovative, restaurant-quality ready meals. 

Christine Moody (Brand Audits) says figures from the United States are showing a huge growth in snack food as consumers are increasingly pressed for time, and find it difficult to fit proper meals in their busy schedules. The Retail Panel experts can all agree on one thing – the market for convenient, healthy and premium food is expanding.

Meanwhile, Woolworths has unveiled its flagship ‘Third Generation’ store in Marrickville, featuring expanded fresh food, ready-to-go meals and health offerings, overhauled bakery, deli, butcher and seafood areas, and a dedicated front-of-store pick-up area for online shopping orders.

Among the exciting new products (and services) Woolworths has introduced is hydroponic living lettuce, growing until the customer picks it out of the soil in the store.

Supermarkets are continuously evolving with technology and consumer trends. Grocery shopping is often perceived as boring and mundane, so supermarkets must introduce new and different processes to attract excitement – we believe it’s all part of the ‘retail experience’!

So, what does this mean for competitors? The Retail Panel is confident similar strategies will roll out among other grocery chains.

You can listen to the Retail Panel every Thursday on ABC Radio from 5pm or listen to the podcast here!

Steve Austin is joined by retail experts Christine Moody from Brand Audits, Dominique Lamb from the National Retail Association and Gary Mortimer from QUT’s School of Business to discuss these issues and more. 

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  • How is technology advancement affecting retailers?
  • How can you utilise the ‘retail experience’?
  • How do franchisors manage their relationships with franchisees or managers?
  • What are businesses doing to ensure compliance, deal with vulnerable workers legislation, and effectively manage these competing issues in business?

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