Need to stock up on bread, milk and some tinned tomatoes? Why not add a new bikini or t-shirt to your trolley while you’re at it?
No, I haven’t gone completely mad. I’ve just visited my local Coles, which not only was one of 52 throughout Australia to launch the supermarket chain’s new fashion line last week but by the end of that first week was the country’s highest sales performer.
And at first glance, it’s not difficult to see why. The initial drop of Mix has a strong nautical influence, something that would appeal to l9ocal residents in my area as well as those visiting.
Not only is the collection on trend but it’s value for money, on the whole amazing quality and easily included in your weekly grocery bill. (Oops. Did I really say that out loud?)
They’ve been combining fashion and groceries in supermarkets in the UK and Europe for years. I can’t believe that it’s taken this long to reach Australian shores. The big winners are budget fashionistas and families on increasingly tighter budgets. The Coles launch follows hot on the high heels of the launch of Emerson at Big W and Kmart last week flying in US budget fashionista Penny Chic to talk up its fashion range, as seen in this news video below. Love the comment from Kmart’s managing director about the factories which Kmart clothes come from. Fashion for thought there.
Where Coles will have it all over its discount department store cousins is that most of us visit our local supermarket on regular basis – weekly, fortnightly, monthly (can I just say, if you’re a monthly visitor I’m truly impressed?That’s some food planning. All power to you.). What do you think the chances are on one of those regular visits of dropping an item or three into your trolley? Pretty bloody high, I’d reckon.
Coles tells me that it has been working with a New York-based design team to create the range and that fresh stock will drop in store every two weeks. That’s enough to keep me checking in.
On my visit on Friday, I happened to run into two friends who are quite the expert shoppers. They didn’t escape being pinned down for the video below for their thoughts on the new collection. Their names haven’t been changed to protect their *innocence*. (Their husbands will never know … if you don’t tell them.)
What I like about Mix
1. The prices. I knew it would be cheap but what I didn’t know until I saw it with my own eyes was that the majority of pieces on sale were of quality often found in a chain store selling a similar item for up to five times the price.
2. The emphasis on basics. I’ll be back to pick up a few of the $6 adjustable camis for my teenage daughter – she wears these all the time under loose tops and little dresses. It’s impossible to pick the origin of a good quality basic when worked back with other labels you might have in your wardrobe.
What I’d like to see improved
1. Change rooms built so that you can try before you buy. I know, especially with things like pants, I’d like to give them a try first. Coles is offering the following returns policy though: If you purchase something that isn’t a perfect fit, you can simply return it within 30 days (not worn or unwashed, with original packaging intact and proof of purchase) and we will be happy to offer a full refund or exchange! Returns are not available on hosiery, underwear and pierced jewellery.
2. A size range that goes beyond and XL top and a size 18 pant. I know there are a lot of women in this size range who are always looking for basics. I think the scope is there to build on the initial size range.
Fresh food and fresh fashion … do you think it’s here to stay? Are you likely to buy clothes when doing your grocery shopping?