Coles’ phenomenally popular Little Shop promotion saw it trounce rival Woolworths, but the supermarket is facing backlash ahead of the launch of Little Shop 2.
A change.org petition titled Please… stop Coles giving out plastic junk! eclipsed its goal of 25,000 signatures on Tuesday night ahead of the Little Shop 2 collectables campaign launch on Wednesday.
“This is a slap-in-the-face for all people who care about the future of our planet. It’s time to think of our children and what their future will look like with all this unnecessary plastic,” the petition said.
“Let’s use our wallets as voices and not shop there anymore.”
Little Shop 2 will feature 30 mini plastic replicas of what Coles called “some of Australia’s most iconic supermarket products” including Arnott’s Original Barbecue Shapes, Heinz Baked Beans, Tip Top bread and Campbell’s tomato soup.
From Wednesday, shoppers who spend $30 at a Coles checkout can claim one of the trinkets for free.
Deakin University retail and marketing lecturer Michael Callaghan said the petition was unlikely to dampen shoppers’ enthusiasm for Little Shop 2.
Last year shoppers went wild for the series of miniature household items, with some selling for thousands of dollars online.
The Little Shop campaign has been “one of the most successful freebie campaigns” ever because it “crosses the generational divide”, Dr Callaghan.
“There are an awful lot of adults that collect them as well,” he said.
“It’s always nice to have some reason to beat up on the major supermarkets, but from a marketing point of view these sales tactics promotional tactics work effectively.”
Coles “seriously beat Woolworths out” over the period of the first Little Shop promotion and there’s “no way they are going to take on an environmental concern,” Dr Callaghan said.
“At the end of the day the money matters. There’s no way they won’t keep trotting them out.”
Woolworths launches Lion King Ooshies
Woolworths’ hopes of staving off the threat posed by Little Shop 2 are pinned on its range of 24 Lion King collectable ‘Oooshies’.
From Wednesday, Woolworths will be giving a free Lion King Ooshie to customers spending $30 or more.
The supermarket was at pains to point out that its figurines are recyclable.
“So if a customer receives a Lion King Ooshie and changes their mind or no longer wants it, they simply need to drop the Ooshie back to their local Woolworths store and we will send it to TerraCycle for recycling,” Woolworths Programs Manager Sarah De La Mare said.
“The bag the Ooshies come in is also made of FSC material and can be recycled via kerbside yellow bins.”