Coles walk back in time like old photos

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Time warp photos show Coles stores like you’ve never seen them with hundreds of beauty products, jewelry and even an elevator to get to multiple levels

  • Coles opened in 1914 as a large retail store on Smith Street in Collingwood, Victoria
  • On the front was the main promise: ‘Nothing more than 2c in this shop’
  • Within 10 days, the store made the small fortune of £ 935 and four shillings
  • Coles expanded from products to beauty products and jewelry over the years

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Coles’s red neon letters are a nationwide symbol of fresh, quality food.

For decades, its supermarkets have lured shoppers with its affordable prices and infectious ‘down, prices are down’ jingle.

Long before it became one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, Coles started out as a humble ‘variety store’.

The first Coles was opened in 1914 by founder GJ Coles on Smith Street in Collingwood, Victoria.

The promise was written on the wooden wall in front of the store: ‘Nothing more than 2c in this store’.

Within its first 10 days of operation, the store had brought in £ 935, four shillings and a cent – a small fortune at the time and an indication of a bright future.

Coles made great strides over the next few decades, expanding not only the location but also the size of the stores so that it needed elevators to bring shoppers between its many floors.

In addition to adding beauty products and jewelry to its inventory, Coles opened the first retail cafeteria in the 1930s.

The grocery store and its affordable prices became a saving grace for families during the Great Depression, donating a portion of the profits to emergency relief funds, hospitals, and nursing homes between 1930 and 1939.

Today, the store continues to live up to its promise to deliver quality fresh food at ‘low’ prices.

The first Coles was opened in 1914 by founder GJ Coles on Smith Street in Collingwood, Victoria, and by the 10th trading day it had earned 935 pounds, four shillings and a penny.

The first Coles was opened in 1914 by founder GJ Coles on Smith Street in Collingwood, Victoria, and by the 10th trading day it had earned 935 pounds, four shillings and a penny.

Coles made great strides over the next few decades, expanding not only the location but also the size of the stores so that it needed elevators to bring shoppers between its many floors.  Pictured here is one such elevator, some jewelry and hairbrushes

Coles made great strides over the next few decades, expanding not only the location but also the size of the stores so that it needed elevators to bring shoppers between its many floors.  Pictured here is one such elevator, some jewelry and hairbrushes

Coles made great strides over the next few decades, expanding not only the location but also the size of the stores so that it needed elevators to bring shoppers between its many floors. Pictured here is one such elevator, some jewelry and hairbrushes

In addition to adding beauty products and jewelry to its inventory, Coles opened the first retail cafeteria in the 1930s.  In this particular store, there were three levels

In addition to adding beauty products and jewelry to its inventory, Coles opened the first retail cafeteria in the 1930s.  In this particular store, there were three levels

In addition to adding beauty products and jewelry to its inventory, Coles opened the first retail cafeteria in the 1930s. In this particular store, there were three levels

The supermarket and its affordable prices became a saving grace for families during the Great Depression, donating a portion of the profits to emergency relief funds, hospitals and nursing homes between 1930 and 1939.

The supermarket and its affordable prices became a saving grace for families during the Great Depression, donating a portion of the profits to emergency relief funds, hospitals and nursing homes between 1930 and 1939.

The supermarket and its affordable prices became a saving grace for families during the Great Depression, donating a portion of the profits to emergency relief funds, hospitals and nursing homes between 1930 and 1939.

Crowds gathered outside the Coles Variety Store in Sydney's Lane Cove in 1949

Crowds gathered outside the Coles Variety Store in Sydney's Lane Cove in 1949

Crowds gathered outside the Coles Variety Store in Sydney’s Lane Cove in 1949

Coles became a household name with fresh fruit and vegetables, beauty products and even jewelry

Coles became a household name with fresh fruit and vegetables, beauty products and even jewelry

Coles became a household name with fresh fruit and vegetables, beauty products and even jewelry

Coles' red neon letters are now a national symbol of fresh, quality food sold in Australia

Coles' red neon letters are now a national symbol of fresh, quality food sold in Australia

Coles’ red neon letters are now a national symbol of fresh, quality food sold in Australia

For decades, it has hooked shoppers with its affordable prices and infectious 'down, prices are down' jingle

For decades, it has hooked shoppers with its affordable prices and infectious 'down, prices are down' jingle

For decades, it has hooked shoppers with its affordable prices and infectious 'down, prices are down' jingle

For decades, it has hooked shoppers with its affordable prices and infectious 'down, prices are down' jingle

For decades, it has hooked shoppers with its affordable prices and infectious ‘down, prices are down’ jingle

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