Coles has been slammed by some shoppers for having the supermarket chain’s new line of collectables made in China instead of Australia.
The supermarket giant’s Little Treehouse miniature collectibles of 24 pocket-sized books are available to customers who spend $30 or more in one transaction.
Shoppers expressed disappointment online that they were not made locally when companies were crying out for business.
‘Coles, please support Australian Made!’ the shopper wrote on the supermarket’s Facebook page.
A Coles spokesperson said they were unable to find a local manufacturer.
‘Coles Little Treehouse books are completely unique in their form, binding, and packaging,’ the spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
‘The manufacturing capabilities required for this unique product are unfortunately not available within the local industry.’
Some shoppers were so disappointed that they vowed to not support the collectables.
‘Much as I love the collectables that Coles puts out (and I really do!), I was disappointed to see this in my little book,’ one woman wrote along with a photo of the book being made in China.
‘Surely the whole process could have been completed in Australia.’
‘Black ban for me,’ another commented.
The supermarket giant partnered with best-selling Australian author Andy Griffiths and illustrator Terry Denton to create a new range of ‘Little Treehouse’ books based on characters from the award-winning kids’ series.
Shoppers will be offered a free book at the checkout in-store and online with purchases over $30 from Wednesday, July 29, with $5 collectors cases also on offer.
Coles chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson said the chain was thrilled to partner with Australia’s most-loved author and illustrator duo to reignite the magic of books in millions of homes.
‘We wanted to find an engaging and sustainable way to bring joy and hours of entertainment to Aussie households,’ she said in a statement on Sunday.
A Coles survey found that while 83 percent of Australian parents frequently encourage their children to read, only 22 percent regularly purchase books.
‘As a supermarket we know we can reach millions of our customers every week with these fantastic little books to read and enjoy with their kids,’ Ms Ronson said.
‘We all remember the excitement that Little Shop created for customers of all ages and we really wanted to create that same level of excitement for reading.
‘We know that enjoying books on a regular basis leads to improved literacy skills, better educational outcomes and happier children.’
Author Andy Griffiths said he and illustrator Terry Denton were proud to be part of the national campaign.
‘We are truly excited to be able to share the Coles ‘Little Treehouse’ book series with the children of Australia,’ he said.
‘We have always been committed to creating books that capture the hearts, minds and funny bones of children in order to foster a lifelong love of reading.’
To mark the launch, Coles is also running its first-ever picture storybook competition which encourages children to get creative and craft their own fictional story.
One book will be donated to a remote Indigenous community for every entry as part of the supermarket’s partnership with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.