Changes at Coles and Woolworths helping to narrow satisfaction gap?

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 7th August 2009

Changes are afoot at Australia’s two largest supermarket chains as they seek to upgrade their supermarket outlets, which were recently labelled as “backward” by a senior Coles figure. And it appears that they are having a positive impact on their consumers, with Coles and Woolworths both making ground in the latest Roy Morgan Satisfaction Ratings as Aldi slipped further from their high.

The release of the June figures today showed the level of customer satisfaction with Coles rose by a further 0.9 of a per cent. On this occasion they were also followed up by market leader Woolworths (up 1.1%). This keeps Coles above that of both IGA and Woolworths, and only marginally behind that of Aldi, according to the latest Roy Morgan Supermarket Satisfaction Report.

Among Aldi customers, 89.0% were very or fairly satisfied with the supermarket, followed by Coles customers (86.5%), Woolworths (85.8%) and IGA (84.9%) in the 6 months average to June 09. IGA was up 0.1 of a per cent and Aldi down o.4 of a per cent.

“The results paint an interesting picture of how the majors are currently performing; clearly changes are happening at Coles and Woolworths that are having an impact on the overall satisfaction levels of their customers,” Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, contended. “This coincides with IGA and Aldi losing favour with their customers.”

“The lower June satisfaction result for Aldi still places them ahead of Coles in supermarket satisfaction, but Coles are only 2.5% points behind that of Aldi.”

“Both Coles and Woolworths have seen a consistent turnaround in their levels of satisfaction, with Coles gaining 4.6% points since November ’08, and Woolworths increasing by 2.3% points since their low of December’08. However, during this time of growth in satisfaction, a reversal of satisfaction at both Aldi and IGA is creating a narrowing margin between the major supermarkets,” Mr Morris concluded.