Australian United Retailers Limited (AURL), the independent retail supermarket group behind FoodWorks, has announced a new retail strategy that will see three new formats rolled out from 2017.

AURL currently has close to 650 supermarkets, food and convenience stores across seven states and territories nationally, with over 400 of these operating under the FoodWorks brand.

In an address to the company’s suppliers, AURL chief procurement and commercial officer, Anthony Abdallah, explained that the new approaches were designed to cater to the changing needs of customers and the different ways people shop.

“One retail format no longer caters for the evolving shopping habits of our customers and these new formats have been specifically developed to take our business into the future by responding our offer to the needs of the communities we service,” he said.

The new formats will each cater to a different target market, which will be reflected in the stores’ core ranges.

These include: FoodWorks Supermarkets, targeted at families and the primary shopper in major cities/towns, with extensive offerings across all departments and a heavy fresh food focus; FoodWorks Local, designed for families/elderly couples in regional areas along with visitors, featuring a mix of departments and impulse categories; and FoodWorks Express, targeted at a transient customer base including passing traffic, public transport users and local residents centred around impulse categories like confectionery, soft drinks, and on-the-go meal solutions.

According to Abdallah, the new formats will provide more targeted sales growth opportunities for suppliers who can use the data and analytics available to tailor products and promotions to the different retail formats.

“This is an exciting time for our business, suppliers and customers,” he says. “We are confident this new strategy will drive more traffic through our stores, increase sales and profitability and ensure our customers are getting access to the products they want and need.”

Stores will start transitioning to the new formats from early 2017 and the complete changeover is expected to take approximately 12-18 months.