Today was written an analysis of Woolworths 2015 format store, Majura Park. The promo said: ShopAbility finds a lack of 'new news' in the 2015 format store; Woolworths' 'response to Coles'. (See the full article here.)
To quote them, 'sure it was big, sure it was neat and tidy and well stocked' and later 'where was the theatre...that pushes Woolworths past Coles'? My question is, where was Inside Retail 10 years ago? Was it lack of theatre people complained about when the visited Coles? Is that why Woolworths dominated Coles those many decades? The answer is emphatically NO. The problem was, Coles stores were a mess; they weren't 'neat and tidy', they weren't 'well stocked'. And the fact that Coles have come back so spectacularly in recent years under Wesfarmers' ownership isn't because of theatre but because they've done the basics extremely well. They have bright, well lit, spacious, clean looking, well stocked, consistently looking supermarkets, packed with good looking fresh produce. Much like Woolworths. Much like Majura Park.
We believe it's time retail consultants stopped trying to explain trends after the event (see our post on the constant worthless analysis of Apple's success) and accept that sometimes things just click, especially when the basics are right. Perhaps the recent rise of Coles is just the natural order of things given Australia's duopoly. They're both doing a great job and neither is the villain in desperate need of a consultant's touch.