Coles and Woolworths are delving into the property development market, according to a report on the weekend.
The Age has reported that the two supermarket chains are set to build large supermarket-residential developments in Melbourne.
The report cited a number of new developments, including one in North Melbourne's Canning Street – which will see 304 apartments built in two residential towers above a Woolworths’ supermarket – while ground has already been broken on another by Woolworths in Highett.
The Age quoted a Woolworths spokesperson as saying the company was a retailer "first and foremost", although "our property team have expertise in tailoring developments to suit a particular site or community. In some cases where there is high demand for new residences - and this is reflected in the market value of a property - a mixed-use development will make sense.”
In the October 22 article, The Age added that Coles had also applied to build a $250 million supermarket, retail and apartment development at the Richmond Plaza centre.
“Coles is typically involved in such developments as a retail tenant, though we will occasionally act as a retail site developer if we determine that is the most appropriate course of action,” a Coles spokesman told The Age.
He told the newspaper that the company's primary aim was to secure space for new stores, "not to become directly involved in residential property development".