Coles maintains solid sales growth

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 26th July 2012

The Wesfarmers-owned Coles Supermarket group has seen a sales growth of 3 per cent over the last quarter of the financial year ended June 30 2012, beating rival Woolworths for a twelfth straight quarter on sales growth.

Wesfarmers managing-director Richard Goyder attributed the rise to the investment in value options for households.

“Coles achieved total food and liquor sales growth of 4.6 per cent for the year and comparable sales growth of 3.7 per cent. The result was driven by sustained strong volume growth during the year, which accelerated in the fourth quarter as ongoing investments in value, quality and service were positively received by customers. This was evidenced by improved customer numbers and increased basket size,” he said.

Managing-director of Coles, Ian McLeod, said the results were particularly pleasing in the face of record price deflation.

“We have been particularly pleased with the continued strong volume growth. This confirms that our determined efforts to provide better quality, service and value are being welcomed by Australian consumers during a period of sustained pressure on household budgets,” Mr McLeod said.

Key business initiatives such as the introduction of re-vamped flybuys, new and refurbished stores and social commitments to local communities, all garnered positive responses from customers.

“The new flybuys scheme and my5 have been well received, with half of Australian households now using flybuys cards,” Mr McLeod said.

“We extended our commitment to local communities through programs such as Sports for Schools and our partnership with SecondBite,” Mr McLeod added.

Coles also reported it was strengthening its local production ties in the fruit and vegetable arena.

“We also deepened our relationship with Australian Growers by becoming the first Australian supermarket to offer 100 per cent Australian grown Coles branded frozen vegetables,” said Mr McLeod

Australian Food News recently reported a good example of this in the sourcing of Coles’ mushroom and capsicum supplies.

Mr McLeod conceded that Coles’ liquor business was over-shadowed by Woolworth’s owned Dan Murphy’s, as the latter’s strength continued to impact overall food and liquor growth.

During the quarter ended 30 June 2012, Coles opened 19 new supermarkets, renewed 52, and closed three, resulting in a total of 749 supermarkets at the end of the 2011-2012 financial year.