Coles focus on house brands in Durkan’s big plans

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 25th May 2015
Coles has seen success but there is a lot more hard work ahead according to Managing Director John Durkan.
Coles has seen success but there is a lot more hard work ahead according to Managing Director John Durkan.

Coles has seen success but there is a lot more hard work ahead according to Managing Director John Durkan.

Speaking at a strategy briefing day last week, Durkhan looked back on the wins and losses over the last year for the supermarket. He also spelled out the future for Coles.

The rest of 2015 and beyond will see new stores, technology coming into play and a heavy focus on in-house brands.

Durkan said Coles will be ramping up its ‘Everyday’ campaign which offers low prices on essentials through Coles branded products.

“We currently have close to 2000 items on ‘Everyday’ and we want to expand this further,” Durkan said.

The focus on in-house brands follows a similar recent announcement from Woolworths who said they too would be concentrating on their own products after Aldi’s success with in-house brands. Ironically, Aldi has recently opened new stores stocking more independent brands.

Coles will embrace technology by expanding their ‘click and collect’ service. ‘Click and collect’ allows customers to purchase online and then pick their goods up for free from a locker located near them. Coles says they have seen customers using the service grow by 36 per cent in the 2015 financial year so far.

The chain plans to makeover existing stores, especially those with high returns. They will be opening up 20 new stores nation-wide.

Reflecting upon the past twelve months Durkan said, “In some areas we have done well, in others not so much.”

He said that Coles performed well in fresh produce with participation in this area up 50 per cent from last year.

Durkhand however said that there was plenty of room for improvement, especially for Liquorland.

He described the ”‘Liquor turnaround” which includes continuing to introduce range change in 200 plus Liquorland stores, lowering prices of ‘exclusive’ brands, slowing net space growth to 1 – 2 per cent per annum and investing in team leader training.