Complete sets of Coles’ ‘Little Shop’ supermarket collectables are fetching big prices online as shoppers cash in on the latest craze.
The Mini Collectables, which include popular products such as Weet-Bix, Milo, Nutella, Tim-Tams and Vegemite, have proven a massive hit with consumers, so much so that the full range can be found for more than $300 on eBay, with individual items selling for as much as $15 each!
The promotion, launched last week and running until the end of August – or until stocks last – aims to emulate the success of Woolworths’ animal cards and Marvel superhero discs.
Nearly 10,000 people have already signed up to various Facebook groups dedicated to swapping the tiny toys to complete the set of 30 before the promotion ends on August 28.
“The customer response to our Little Shop collectable offer has been fantastic, and we’re pleased to see people are finding ways to build and complete their collections,” a Coles spokesman told news.com.au.
“Little Shop collectables are still available at all Coles supermarkets, with customers able to collect one free with every $30 spent.”
The promotion was largely funded by the brands themselves and developed by marketing company Unga, which had successfully rolled out the idea in overseas markets including The Netherlands in 2012, New Zealand in 2013 and South Africa in 2016.
“We know our customers love collectables so we have worked with our suppliers to launch a new collectable campaign in our supermarkets across Australia from Wednesday,” Coles Managing Director John Durkan told news.com.au.
“We have designed them together with our suppliers to be miniature replicas of some of the most loved products on our supermarket shelves. Little Shop features 30 iconic, household brands – including Vegemite, Nutella and Weet-Bix – which are shrunk down into a mini collectable for customers to collect and swap.
“We are aiming to give our customers something fun — a miniature to collect and enjoy. To make collecting even more fun for customers, we have a range of additional items for sale including collector cases, miniature shopping baskets and trolleys, and a miniature shopfront.”
Mr Durkan said Coles would also be holding a “Swap Day” in August at selected stores to help customers complete their collections before the six-week promotion ends.
It seems even those overseas want in!
“Please please please send these to me??? I’m in Canada and will pay you back,” one Tweet read.
“All I can think about is Coles little shop collectables, I want them all,” read another.
— Cooking with Alison (@CookingwithAli) July 17, 2018
— DestKitteh ♡ (@FaerieKitteh) July 19, 2018
Nial – want to swap any of your ones for this rare Finish ? #Coles Little Shop – had two of these forced upon me at Coles today. *used my own green bag though. *shown actual size. pic.twitter.com/MvJrv0cQJx
— Hipstergeddon (@hipstergeddon) July 22, 2018
Criticism post plastic bag ban
The promotion may be hugely popular with many shoppers, but Coles’ Little Shop mini collectables range has not come without some criticism.
Environmental groups and some customers have been appalled by Coles’ decision to use additional plastic to make the toys, so soon after banning single-use plastic bags from all stores across the country.
In response, however, Coles said the idea was for customers to “keep and collect them rather than throw them out”.
“When customers are at the supermarket they have a choice as to whether they would like to receive a mini collectable or not and customers are able to recycle the wrappers at their nearest store through our in-store REDCycle program,” the company said.