Coles vs Safeway

I have both a Coles and a Safeway nearby. With inspiration from Andrew’s post the other week, this is why I shop at Safeway:

  • Safeway is a few minutes less of a walk, which isn’t a lot, but counts when you’re staggering home with two green bagsful of shopping.
  • My local Coles has computer monitors scattered around the aisles showing Channel 10 News headlines, and playing the Channel 10 News theme music over and over and over again. Whereas Safeway has annoying Muzak, but at least it changes every few minutes.
  • I’m more used to the Safeway layout and in-house product range, having regularly shopped at Safeway when I lived at my previous homes at Carnegie, Glen Huntly, Hawthorn (the weekly shop to Safeway in Camberwell involved two people, a wire shopping jeep, and the 75 tram) and Hampton.
  • I’ve been in Coles too many times when there have been long queues and few checkouts open. Not that it never happens at Safeway, but it seems to be less frequent.
  • Safeway’s affiliated petrol stations are more convenient for me than Coles’s. And though 4 cents per litre is only about $2 saved each time I fill up, which is only about fortnightly, I still find this a good enough reason to use them.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

13 replies on “Coles vs Safeway”

I follow the specials; Coles this week is selling cashews for $13/kg. So this week’s trip will be there.

All things being equal, my local Coles is about 30 seconds closer and nearer the library, but the Safeway has an in-store bakery, with all the lovely bakery goodness associated therewith. The Safeway’s bigger too, so I get more exercise, and their trolleys are new and travel straight and easy. Another, equidistant Safeway sells Roo, so I go there on occassion, but it’s fitout is older and thus less pleasant to be around. The’s a BiLo nearby, but I hate that place – expensive and dirty. I guess on balance I prefer Safeway, but it’s not a strong preference.

Cathy likes the IGAs that are walking distance from home.

Owen doesn’t care. Yet.

You don’t like the Ten News screens at Coles Bentleigh? I thought it was quite useful. Happened to be a pretty small store – it had low ceilings above all of the aisles. I just went in there to get a juice while on a trip taking photos of railway stations, it happened to be the closest to the station.

I know someone else who lives in Bentleigh, and *always* goes to Safeway. Their neighbour works for Coles, but they have never even been in there!

Personally when I’m in Melbourne I usually go to either Coles at Box Hill or Coles at Doncaster Shoppingtown. I don’t like Safeway at either Box Hill or Doncaster, the Box Hill store seems run-down and rather pricey, and Doncaster while being bigger than the Coles beneath it (which is actually a very small store) is not a well-run supermarket and always seems messy (a conerted Franklins Big Fresh). Coles at Box Hill is a rather large store (since they finished renovations), it has about 13 aisles, as well as an in-store bakery and a large deli and always seems clean and well run, but Doncaster is actually a small store (10 aisles) and sells a rather limited range in some areas (ie pet food), but is run very efficiently and the queues always move quickly.

Our IGA around the corner (Watsonia) is tops. Liquor section & deli, plus frequent specials for chips and chocolate. Coles v Safeway though: Safeway wins thanks to shorter queues and the Liquor section 9 times out of 10 not being in a completely different part of the complex.

I have always preferred Coles. Just think they always have what I want. The Coles in Williamstown is the best I’ve ever been to – so clean and easy to navigate and you can actually get someone quick as a flash to help you when you are stuck trying to find something. 2nd best would be Coles Moonee Ponds. I know other people who will go out of their way to go to that store. Again neat and easy to navigate around and always has what you want (within reason). I also frequent local IGA’s when it is convenient. I know you are paying slightly more but for a quick duck in and grab a couple of items they really cannot be beaten for convenience.

When we lived in Murrumbeena we used to shop at Ritchies IGA in East Bentleigh. It was slightly smaller in size than Safeway Carnegie, but somehow seemed to have a better range. They were really friendly (the manager was called Fiona and she used to say hello when we met in ths street) and they give a % of what you spend to a charity of your choice.

Now we live in Perth we have a choice of Coles or Woolworths (=Safeway for you Melbourne folks). We used to have an independent chain called Action, but it was sold last year and Woolworths bought most of the stores. Action was good because they had a loyalty card: collect points and get fresh food vouchers. Much better value than the petrol deals.

Now they are gone, we stick with Coles. I can never find what I want in Woolies: their logic just doesn’t match mine.

What I hate about supermarkets is the way they put bread at the *start* so that by the time you reach your checkout it is horribly squashed.

Coles is at least 30% more expensive than the local butcher across the street. Safeway (the fresh food people) always has the worst (can you say rotten) fruit and vegies. We shop at wichever we are closest to, but Safeway/Caltex is cheaper than Coles/Shell for petrol and my care seems to get slightly better fuel economy on Safeway/Caltex than Coles/Shell.

I’ve defaulted to Coles for the flybuys points – and the 8 cents a litre off fuel if I use their credit card.

i have a coles literally around the corner but i avoid it due to its limited product range and the MASSVIE queues. why have upwards of 30 checkouts and only open 6.

here is a hint Mr Coles, when there are more than 10 people at each checkout waiting, its time to open more.

people just need to be more prepared to walk out of a store that doesnt have enough checkouts open, i have left baskets at the info desk, informaing them that im not buying these items becuase the lines are too long

I reluctantly shop at Safeway Newmarket.
If I only need a couple of things I go to the small (3 aisle) independant supermarket down the road, but it is the oposite direction to home from the train station.

SIf I had a choice I’d go IGA or Coles. The old Coles at Moonee Ponds was great, the new one is too big.

Safeway seem to like re-organising the store layout every 9-12 months, so jsut when you get the layout worked out for a quick shop, you can’t find things. I regularly leave a basket of shopping (hopefully with perishables in it) if the queues are too big. (but I refue to go there on Monday or Friday nights as they are waaaay to busy (with about 8 losed checkouts)

Safeway also sold me some OJ past it’s use-by date, and when I complained I got a “pis off we don’t care” type email….

I have walked out of Coles as they can’t be arsed to put more staff on the registers when they are busy. Went to Safeway across the road, in and out in five minutes.

It is at least an hour round trip to Safeway in Balaclava, but I still like it more than Coles in Caulfield (I don’t like that store for some reason.)

In Drouin where my parents live the local supermarket opened a new store under the IGA brand. It was so good the chain used it in a national advertising campaign and the Coles in the next town over (Warragul) lost a third of their business.

Unfortunately, the owner had an offer from Coles and it was bought out and turned into a crappy store. My parents go to Safeway in Warragul now.

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