Woolworths is unveiling its next generation of stores and the revitalised Woolworths Warringah, which opened earlier this month, is well worth a look.

The store offers a glimpse into the future of supermarket and food retailing and there are some key lessons for retailers in other channels as well.

The multi-million dollar Warringah upgrade places a focus on customers’ health in a modern and convenient shopping environment.

Woolworths format development director Rob McCartney said the company has spent a great deal of time understanding what local shoppers are looking for in their shopping experiences.

“The store puts itself at the heart of the shopping experience, encouraging customers to make healthier choices for themselves and their families,” Mr McCartney said.

The health emphasis is something of a drawcard for the store, which boasts one of the country’s largest supermarket health food offerings. The store is the first in the country to offer organic product in its Free Fruit for Kids program and customers can select loose organic fruit and vegetables from a large range of produce.

The store also offers an expanded freshly made in-store sushi section and an in-store bakery producing fresh stone baked and flat bread. The cake shop will custom make cakes to suit any occasion and the dedicated butcher cuts meat to customers’ specification, and will spice and season too. A dedicated full-time cheese expert is available and the store’s cheese room offers more than 100 locally sourced Australian cheeses.

An aisle dedicated solely to healthy eating options features a large selection of new on-trend health foods and 26 bays allowing customers to select their own bulk food and nuts.

An emphasis on locally sourced produce is evident and the store will run a month long demo program allowing customers to meet suppliers in store as they showcase their products.

Five key themes to note:

1. Emphasis on fresh

2. Wide range of organic produce

3. Customers can interact with product through sampling

4. Locally sourced produce

5. Made in-store fresh products (such as flat bread and sushi)

This story originally appeared on Convenience and Impulse Retailing.