Located in Melbourne’s south-west, FoodWorks Werribee has been a key part of the local community for a number of years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at FoodWorks Werribee observed a distinct change in their customer’s shopping habits. As customers turned to their locals more than ever, the owners came to realise that their fresh food offering was not getting enough traction.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we started to see our local customers’ grocery habits clearly as they shopped in the store more often,” said Werribee FoodWorks co-owner, David Rofaeil. “Our customers relied on us to feed their families and we learnt what was important to them in their weekly shops. In particular, that was fresh foods.”
Due to these findings, FoodWorks Werribee underwent a significant renovation worth more than $1 million and recalibration of its offering in early 2022, with a renewed focus on quality, depth of range and premium products. This transformation and renewed product offering coincided with the store joining Australian United Retailers under the FoodWorks brand.
“We had a traditional convenience supermarket and the shift in shopping habits helped us to realise what we needed to do to reposition the store in our customers’ minds,” said David. “With a new focus on fresh produce, meat, dairy and unique shopping experiences, customers are now increasingly depending on our store for their mid-week top up shops, in addition to convenience needs.”
“The people of Werribee take a lot of pride in the local area and there was a buzz of excitement about the changes,” David said. “FoodWorks Werribee now works with more than 100 new suppliers from all across Australia to deliver a unique shopping experience that allows our customers to find something new to try in all departments in the store.”
Thanks to the combined forces of FoodWorks and Manna Foods supplier network, the supermarket now has a unique and refreshed product offering compared to their local competitors. “For example, we now stock fresh bread from bakeries in inner Melbourne, take-home meals from popular restaurants and delicious doughnuts from That’s Alotta Donuts,” said David. “Our team has concentrated on bringing in new options while retaining a core focus on stocking the shopping basket staples that ensure we’re catering for customers across a range of buying objectives.”
The success of the new path forged at FoodWorks Werribee has been a combined effort of the owners, Australian United Retailers group, and support from the local community of Werribee. By combining strengths, FoodWorks Werribee has been able to tap into the needs of their customers, and provide a diverse and exciting product offering and retail space.
“FoodWorks Werribee has created a fantastic offering for local customers which includes the core range they know and love, as well as premium products that deliver an upmarket food buying experience,” said Chief Operating Officer of Australian United Retailers, Kym Coventry. “We focus on providing store owners with the foundation of a great value offer and the flexibility that allows them to individualised their ranging with a bespoke approach. This allows retailers to retain their friendly, community-focused relationships with their customers”.
Six months on from the relaunch, the store has maintained its new-found position as a key mid-size grocery outlet in Werribee. “Since moving across to the FoodWorks brand and reinventing the store, our shopper basket size has also increased considerably without a significant increase in the number of transactions. “This means our loyal customers are trying new things and willing to spend more,” said David.
Werribee is one of six FoodWorks supermarkets owned by Manna Foods and operating as part of the Australian United Retailers group.
“FoodWorks has been a strong supporter of Manna Foods stores and is invested in supporting our group so it can thrive,” David said. “The support team provides valuable advice to ensure our growth strategies are successful and it made sense to bring all of our stores across to the brand.”
As FoodWorks Werribee continues to listen to their local community, foster positive relationships and provide a unique and tailored shopping experience, we can be sure they have a great future ahead in the heart of their local community.
FoodWorks Werribee was recently featured in The Australian Retailer.