Supermarket Search

After the closure of the Surry Hills Shopping Village, the search for my new supermarket continues. Though it’s not exactly “desperate” (as I have quite a few supermarkets within walking distance), I still haven’t settled on which one I’ll start using after the three year closure of Coles.

It’s official: the Surry Hills Shopping Village closed last Sunday. They’ll re-open in two or three years, after the re-development which will include lots of apartment accommodation.

Ahead of the closures, the supermarket shelves were allowed to empty themselves (no re-filling) and many of the items were significantly discounted. “Why don’t you stock up?”, the young bloke at the bottle shop said to me, offering a pretty reasonably discount on some bottles of wine.

There was a heavy run on cask wine at the bottle shop, I noticed.
Frozen pizza also seemed pretty popular in the “dying days” of Coles.
The first time I really “felt” the closure was on Thursday morning, when I had to visit the local service station to buy some milk. Again, it’s not a big thing since the service station is at the end of my street. On top of that, they have a brand of milk that I really like. On the downside, it’s pretty damn expensive. Ordinarily, I would have gone to my local supermarket the night before, and would be well and truly ready for my start of the day coffee.

Though I would ordinarily pop into the supermarket a few times each week for minor shops, I’ve found myself going down the more expensive route. I bought a loaf of bread from the awesome Bourke Street Bakery, and a few small items from the equally awesome, Maloneys (on Crown Street). They’re both terrific, but they are more expensive than I’m used to.

I also made a shopping visit to Aldi’s on Oxford Street. Ordinaily, I’d only visit Aldi for those (often) weird specials they have. A suitcase. A radio. That kind of thing. But on Tuesday, I called in and bought a few small items, including some cheese and some fresh produce. “Their fresh produce is quite good and quite cheap”, I told my friend on the phone. She agreed, noting they’re generally quite competitive.

It was a rather curious experience to visit Oxford Street on a weekday. Ordinarily, Oxford Street is a place I would only visit at night-time, or on the weekend. On a weekday, it’s a much different place.

And then today, I visited Woolworths Express, just up the road on Bourke Street. The supermarket range and price was just as I expected. The only confusing things for me were how to use my rewards card, and how to find the checkouts. The supermarket is on two levels, with fresh produce upstairs and grocery items downstairs. The signs for the checkouts were somewhat obscured, and so I found myself walking around a little confused. “Should I ask someone for instructions, or will I seem like some crazy old man?”, I thought to myself.

I still haven’t tried the Coles at Waterloo. I also have the option of supermarkets at Town Hall (a quick trip on the light rail) and at Bondi Junction (a quick trip on the bus). Either way, I’d really love to see the opening on our part of Crown Street of a small convenience store where I could buy daily things like bread, milk and fresh produce.

Who knew that it would be so hard to adjust to new habits after 25 years of entrenched shopping habits?

4 Replies to “Supermarket Search”

  1. Ah, there is an Aldi in that shopping centre now. I wonder what was in that space before. The IGA in Oxford Street has two levels too and it is confusing. Btw, Coles Express and Woolworths Metro.

  2. We just returned from holidays seeing family and had forgotten about the closure (lol, since you know it’s been flagged for what, 2 years now?). I’ve spent an hour (at work lol) googling around for alternatives to Coles Redfern and somehow ended up here. Good to find insightful writing on the topic from someone actually living in the area (thank you :).

    At first Coles Waterloo seems the logical choice but being without a car it’s not so simple. It’s a pleasant walk down there for sure, but hauling bags of stuff back, without being at the mercy of buses, yeah, that’s another story! We could do more frequent smaller runs but that’ll be more time. We work during the day, so the ‘shuttle bus’ isn’t an option.

    For now we’re going to try Coles World Square, since (for us) the walk to the Surry Hills light rail is about the same as it was to the old Coles, and the light rail seems to be stable and regular now. As you say, there’s 2 Coles at Bondi Junction but it’s a bit far for regular shopping runs, though we’d go there if we happened to be in the area for some other reason.

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