Coles buys Surrey Hills property, opens it as nation’s first “small format” store

A Coles Local concept store more than two years in the making opened this week in Melbourne’s Surrey Hills.

The supermarket’s first “small format store” (pictured, top) is trading at 126-138 Union Road, beside the Surrey Hills train station.

Coles is owner-occupying the outlet after acquiring it for an undisclosed sum.

The 1860 square metre mini-mart is built into the ground floor of what was until recently several retail buildings.

Myles Snow of agency CRS represented the vendor to deliver the supermarket proposal which included amending the local planning scheme.

Coles and rival Woolworths have in recent years been seeking to exploit the “convenience retail” market with small format stores.

In 2013, Woolworths opened its first ‘Metro’ store in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo and now trades from 15 of these styled outlets.

In June, Coles signed an unusual lease deal to create a small-format store in Ripponlea – creating an amalgamated ground floor space after negotiating leases with several individual strata shop owners.

It has been reported that Coles plans to open 120 small format stores nationally in coming years.

The outlets will stock some 1500 items not available in larger Coles supermarkets with a focus on stock being locally sourced and artisan. The small format stores also have an emphasis on ready-made food and target the vegan market.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of