30/10/2015 - 12:52

Taylor Road shows the way for IGA

30/10/2015 - 12:52

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Nestled in the heart of Nedlands, the Taylor Road IGA is not your usual supermarket.

Taylor Road shows the way for IGA
FRESH FOCUS: James Kelly says his Taylor Road IGA is all about delivering quality and consistency. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Nestled in the heart of Nedlands, the Taylor Road IGA is not your usual supermarket.

Owner James Kelly has set about providing the sort of quality you’d expect from a high-end grocer in one of Perth’s most affluent suburbs. But gourmet fresh food offerings are not the only thing that sets it apart from the competition.

Along with regular supermarket staff, the store employs five chefs to ensure the Taylor Road IGA provides a wide range of home-style ready-cooked meals for its busy customers.

The store is open 24 hours, providing convenience, while a full-service barista complements the fine wine and liquor options at the bottle shop.

It even has an in-house florist to provide not only a visual impact for customers at the door, but also stimulate shoppers’ olfactory senses.

Mr Kelly told Business News he believed exploiting a niche was the only way forward for independent operators in a supermarket sector that was becoming more competitive, as Coles and Woolworths stepped up their offerings to dominate the market.

“We’ve sub-branded from IGA,” Mr Kelly said. “We believe that there is a boutique market out there and we need to move away from your everyday grocery store.

“We’re more a gourmet fresh food store, so we concentrate on our fruit and veg, our deli and our fresh food.

“As time goes on, Coles and Woolies are getting much better at their game, so we have to keep ahead of them and we have to keep coming up with new innovative ideas.”

But Mr Kelly, who was a dairy farmer in New Zealand before shifting to Australia, is not daunted by the prospects of the changing market; instead, he’s sticking to his guns in providing a unique option.

Part of that commitment to having a point of difference is creating a significant opportunity for Western Australia-based suppliers, with more than 292 local businesses providing fresh produce or other goods for the shop.

“In WA, we need to be parochial, and as independents, that’s what we should really be pushing,” Mr Kelly said.

“If a new supplier comes in and they’re WA-based, we’ll give them a crack if it’s a reasonable product, and we’ll try and make it work.

Mr Kelly, who bought the Taylor Road store 13 years ago, has a sim ilar setup in place at his other supermarket, the 2nd Avenue IGA in Mount Lawley. He is planning to open a third shop by the middle of next year.

Part of his stores’ success, Mr Kelly said, was ensuring they were deeply entrenched into the communities in which they were located.

In Nedlands, a comprehensive refurbishment of the store 12 months ago reflects the character of the suburb, with the use of earthy tones and soft finishes throughout, while the Mount Lawley store has a distinct art deco feel, in line with the architecture of the famous Beaufort Street strip.

Mr Kelly said he also made sure his IGA stores were front-of-mind for nearby residents by supporting local charities, community groups and sporting organisations.

“In the past six months, between both shops we’ve given away close to $15,000 to the local community,” he said.

“That gives people a sense of ownership and creates a sense of loyalty.”

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