Introduction My supermarket journal will explore the when, where and why we shop. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of supermarket shopping. We will also visit an Asian supermarket with some surprises of what you can purchase there.
Where do I shop and why? This question got me thinking about why I routinely shop fortnightly at my local Coles supermarket. I asked a group of my female friends aged 25-50yrs this same question. A common response I received was convenience. Many liked shopping at their local supermarket as it was close to home.
Myself, my nearest Coles supermarket is inSouth Lake which is a 6.8km drive from myhouse. This local store is older and is in needof some renovations. Sometimes I prefer totravel 10.5km to a newer, larger, brighterColes supermarket in Southern River.
Supermarket AdvantagesIn April 2009 Coles introduced Coles online shopping inPerth. The reasons that I prefer to shop at a Colessupermarket over Coles online are: -Being able to look out for specials and comparingthe product price and quality to what I would normallypurchase -Checking expiry dates on products, especially dairyand searching to the back of the shelf for an item for thelongest expiry date -Using my green shopping bags at the checkout anddoing my part in lessening plastic bag use.
Supermarket DisadvantagesThe main disadvantage that I feel about supermarketshopping is the limited trading hours. In December lastyear the Western Australian government introducedtrading until 9pm weeknights. Even in the weeks leadingup to Christmas a lot of consumers were unaware of thelate night trading. I feel to increase the number ofconsumers smaller retailers need to stay trading on thenew late nights to encourage more shoppers to theshopping centre. I myself prefer to late night shop (otherthan Thursday night) kid free and without the hassle ofcrowds, which is bliss. I would also love the option ofshopping on Sundays
Other disadvantages of supermarket shoppinginclude-impulse buying-crowds, noisy children, rude shoppers-Not always guaranteed that the product yourequire will be on the shelf-the inconvenience of having to travel to thesupermarket and the battles of finding carparking.
Customer Satisfaction While speaking to my female friends aged 25-50yrs about their supermarket shopping habits, these are the things that please them about their local supermarket -layout -quality of fresh produce -variety -sale prices -friendly, helpful staff -location
What pleases me about my supermarket is as a motherand trying to save money I prefer the Coles genericbrand products over any other supermarket. I feel thatalthough paying less the product is similar to the namebrand product. I find this especially when it comes toproducts like milk, sugar, flour, butter. A lot of the genericbrand products are made by the same companies of thename brands. For example Coles brand Weetbix aremade by Sanitarium, bread is made by Goodman Fielderand Coles soft drink is produced by P&L.(Pettapiece, Ian. 2011. Personal communication)
What can’t you buy there? I am not 100% satisfied with the fresh produceavailable at Coles. Each fortnight I will travel tomy local fruit and vegetable shop as the qualityis better. The fruit and vegetables will last longerin my fridge which saves me having to go to theshop less frequently which then saves memoney.
It was interesting when I asked my friends this samequestion. “What can’t you buy there?”One common answer was relating to the weeklyspecials that each supermarket advertises. Many of myfriends would travel the extra few kilometres and go outof their way to save a few dollars. Which surprised meas I feel that the money saved is minimal when youhave used extra petrol and more time.Other things mentioned were-“I cant buy alcohol at my local supermarket and haveto travel to the local bottle shop”-“my dog eats a specific type of food which I have topurchase from my local vet”-“I find the variety of Indian and Asian food not verygood”
Supermarket Observations I went to South Lake Coles to observe some fellow shoppers. It was 3.30-4.30pm on a Friday afternoon. -There were many school aged children buying junk food for an after school snack -Not many elderly shoppers -A few what appeared to be working mothers who have just picked up their young children from school doing their weekly shop -The store seemed relatively busy with a steady stream of shoppers going through the check out -Many shoppers purchasing staple items such as milk, bread, fruit, vegetables and meat.
Supermarket Comparison In the Lakes Shopping Centre Complex there are two supermarkets. Coles and Long’s Oriental Supermarket.
I was interested to discover why there was aneed for an Oriental Supermarket in the areaof South Lake. The demographics show thatthere is only a minimal amount of Asianpeople living in the area of South Lake.Despite of this there must be enoughcustomers for the Asian supermarket to beprofitable for the owners.
Demographics of South Lake Area The postcode of 6164 includes the suburbs of Atwell, Aubin Grove, Banjup, Beeliar, Hammond Park, Jandakot, Southlake, Success and Yangebup. All of these suburbs surround South Lake This Pie Chart shows the top Shopping Centre. five countriesof origin for the postcode 6164. (www.domain.com.au)
6163 61496163 Pie Chart includes the top five countries of originfrom the suburbs Bibra Lake, Coolbellup, Hamilton Hill, 6149 Pie Chart includes the top fiveHilton, Kardinya, North Lake, countries of origin from the suburbs O’Connor, Samson, Leeming and Bullcreek. Spearwood and North Coogee. (www.domain.com.au) (www.domain.com.au)
Both supermarkets target different customers. Whilewalking through Long’s Oriental Supermarket I noticedall of the staff that I saw working were of Asian decent. Afew Asian families were purchasing their products but thestore was nowhere as busy as the Coles supermarketnext door. There was a Caucasian lady walking throughthe store with as much surprise as myself at some of theproducts available for purchase.
These included:Sliced Venison Crocodile Tail Meat Corn fed chicken, head on, feet on Pure palm sugarChilli Bamboo Shoots Black Glutenous Rice
Basil seed drink with My favourite find, Grass Jelly Drink,honey vegetarian ham coconut flavourAnd of courselots of rice.
In conclusion, both Long’s OrientalSupermarket and Coles target a differentconsumer. I have often walked past Long’sbut never been inside the store. With thisknowledge now of what is sold I might expandmy menu at home to include some of theseAsian products.
References:Coles Supermarket. 2011. Coles http://www.coles.com.au/Fairfax Digital. 2011. Domain. http://www.domain.com.au/