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Co-op plans new supermarket

Co-op plans new supermarket

The Barossa will have an exciting “next generation” supermarket and retail shopping complex by 2016, if development plans announced by The Co-op this week, are approved by the State Government.

In a strong show of confidence in the Barossa’s future, The Co-op Chairman, Mr Phillip Schmaal said more than $10 million will be invested in the first stage of the visionary shopping centre re-development in Nuriootpa.

“Over the last three years the Board and management team have been undertaking customer market research, and from this we know that our 17,000 members are very happy with The Co-op but they want more shopping choice – particularly groceries and fresh food, but also in casual food and beverage dining as well as speciality shopping,” Mr Schmaal said.

“We have also outgrown our current Foodland, which is now 16 years old, and our facilities such as refrigeration, preparation areas and fresh food displays are out of date and inefficient.

“Most supermarkets are updated every five years and this is long overdue if we are to keep pace with retail trends around Australia.”

“Really it is about creating a big shopping experience. We are already the third biggest independent supermarket in the country.

“Our proposal is not about providing another country town facility but rather that the region can expect to have the same environment as the service provided in the metropolitan area yet with a country feel.”

The Co-op Chief Executive, Mr Graeme Longmuir said Stage 1 would commence with the construction of a brand new Foodland supermarket adjacent to the current shopping centre.

“This will be 20% larger than the existing Foodland and will offer a more contemporary shopping experience with exciting new deli, fresh fruit and veg and meat/seafood outlets and a customer friendly market style lay-out,”
he said.

“It’s a commitment by The Co-op to provide the very best to the residents of the Barossa and a sign that we are not complacent about our long term responsibility as a member based organisation.

“This is not a sudden decision. We have been analysing the level of retail activity in the Barossa and how much custom local businesses lose to Gawler and the northern suburbs of Adelaide. The latest statistics suggest there is more than $200 million being spent on retail outside of the Barossa every year.

“We have to ensure The Co-op provides a competitive retail offer so that we remain relevant and sustainable, and that more of the shopping dollar remains in the local community.

“The Co-op gave back more than $1 million in rebates, interest and donations to members last year and that will increase as more people shop locally.”

Mr Longmuir said the decision to construct a new supermarket (rather than renovate the existing building) had been made to enable the current Foodland and its retail tenants to keep trading as usual during the 12 month construction programme. This would provide minimal disruption to customers.

“The supermarket is part of a ten-year strategic plan, which will ensure the 70 year old Co-op remains at the heart of Barossa retailing,” Mr Longmuir

“We also plan to remodel the interface between the existing mall and the new supermarket to create an open village square meeting place and additional speciality shops.

“The existing supermarket will be re-purposed as an undercover car-park – the first in the Barossa – which will provide greater convenience to our key members.

“Our long-term plan is to also re-model other elements of the Co-op shopping experience which will link us more closely to the main street and improve the Nuriootpa retail experience.”

Speaking to The Leader about the development, Mr Longmuir, said he thinks the development will make the whole Barossa come alive.

It will also help other Barossa suppliers grow their business further.

“We plan the development to blend in with the Barossa. We will make sure this is a Barossan experience, not a suburban shopping mall.

“The supermarket will create extra activity and new jobs through construction and it will be ongoing because the increase in trade could create as much as 100 jobs out of this project.

“I think there are some good news stories now coming out of the Barossa with not only the Co-op re expansion but also the development announced last week for Barossa Village and the Vine Inn Nuriootpa.

“Any investment the Co-op makes is about circulating funds, and we are taking the view that the Co-op remains sustainable in the years to come.

The planning application is due to be submitted in late June. If successful, work will start in mid 2015 with completion in mid-late 2016.