'World's largest Officeworks' opening doors in Melbourne
Officeworks has launched its latest offensive against online retailers, opening what’s believed to be the world’s largest office supplies store in Melbourne’s south-east.
At nearly 6500 square metres, the new "megaworks" is four times the size of the average store.
It boasts 35,000 different products, including a 3D print and copy centre and items previously only available online, such as office furniture.
Officeworks’ Corporate Affairs and Brand Manager, Alex Staley, says the new store will complement the brands online presence, which makes up about 20 per cent of overall sales.
“When you're shopping online you need to know what you want, but we still know a lot of our customers want to come in and actually see the product, touch the product and interact with the product,” Ms Staley told A Current Affair.
And in many ways, the new store seems to have been built with online sales in mind.
It will act as a massive distribution centre for Melbourne’s south-east suburbs, ensuring same day delivery for online purchases.
Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says this "warehouse"-style superstore could provide a potential buffer against online retailers.
“There are opportunities for retailers to use space, if they can get it at the right price and then use it as a warehouse-type setting so they can actually carry more product and then use the online capability to deliver it,” Mr Zimmerman said.
But he said the timing of the Officeworks expansion is interesting, as many other big retailers look to open smaller stores, shrinking their footprint in order to keep up with costs and prioritise convenience for customers.
“Australia has one of the dearest rents in the world for retail floor space so they will look to reduce their size for that reason,” he said.
“But equally so we are seeing an incredible growth in online and the need to have as many shops and as big shops is probably becoming more important in reduction.”
Officeworks says it will trial the new format before deciding whether to roll out more "superstores" across the country.
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