Coles sales up 8 per cent in first quarter
One of Australia’s largest retailers, Wesfarmers Limited today announced sales from its Coles business have increased by 8 per cent to A$8.09bn for the first quarter of 2012 financial year (from 27 June 2011 to 25 September 2011).
According to Wesfarmers’ report, Coles’ food and liquor store sales grew by 5.2 per cent in the first quarter. However, the supermarket chain experienced food and liquor price deflation of 1.8 per cent during the quarter. Wesfarmers stated that this was due to Coles’ continued investment in lower prices on groceries as well as lower fresh produce inflation as crops began to recover from flood and cyclone damage earlier in the year.
Coles Managing Director, Ian McLeod, said the first quarter results represented “strong progress in a tough retail environment”.
“Our ‘Down Down’ campaign has been supported by further investment in quality and innovation in partnership with Australian growers and manufacturers,” Mr McLeod said. “However, weak consumer confidence in the face of rising living costs will continue to make trading conditions challenging in the lead up to Christmas.”
Coles refurbished 10 stores, opened three new stores and closed two stores during the quarter. Coles now has a total of 157 renewal stores out of a national fleet of 742 stores. Six new liquor stores were opened and five were closed during the period taking the total number of liquor stores to 879.