By Aimee Chanthadavong

Coles is expanding its product offering by bringing fashion to its grocery aisles.

To be launched at Coles’ soon-to-be-opened Victorian superstore format Burwood store on 1 September, MIX will be an exclusive collection of clothing and accessories that will be sold by the supermarket chain at 50 selected stores Australia-wide.

Speaking to RetailBiz, Coles brand manager Beverley Johnson, said supermarket clothing collections have proved a huge success overseas and Coles wanted to be able to bring that to Australia.

“The main reason behind it was our desire to give our customers another unique, compelling offer. So really, it’s an extension of what we already offer and giving our customers more. Also, this obviously is a strategy that has worked particularly well with in the UK. We also wanted to continue to be the first-to-call for our customers” she said.

“A few differences about MIX though is that it’s not a Coles brand rather it’s a brand that stands alone and every single item is designed by a team of designers, which we have collaborated with.”

Having been in the planning for the past 12 months, MIX clothing has been designed to be fresh, affordable and stylish, as well as to cater for every customer – young mums, families and working men. The range will all be priced at $39 and under.

“I think the way we have marketed the line is very enticing and when our customers come in to check it out themselves they will know we have been able to honour the price and quality,” Johnson said.

In order to steer away from the stereotype that cheap often means poor quality and design, Coles has been working with former-Club Monaco New York designer Joe Mimran, who was recently involved in a similar branding exercise with Canadian grocer Loblaws.

“We wanted to ensure who we were working with understood the complexity of bringing a clothing line into a grocery store,” Johnson said.

The Spring collection is a fresh ‘mix’ of block colours, neutral shades, prints and stripes  and accessories including beachwear, and the range will be regularly refreshed every two weeks throughout the season.

The MIX collection will housed in a ‘store within store’ section with custom displays of apparel and accessories.

“It’s a new section; it’s a store within a store where it even has its own point-of-sale so it’ll feel like you’re in a fashion store.”