Coles falling behind Woolworths according to suppliers

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 5th February 2018

Coles “has lost its way” a UBS report summarising the results of a supplier survey on Woolworths and Coles has said.

The survey, which quizzed 45 supermarket suppliers for the 23rd time since 20017, scored Woolworths ahead of Coles, with Coles no longer leading on any measurement sub-category.

According to the survey’s results, Coles staff calibre and morale are near all-time survey lows and customer facing metrics such as self-availability and promotions have deteriorated.

Woolworths has however widened its lead in 24-26 sub-categories with suppliers scoring Woolworths better than in the last survey in categories including on-self availability, store presentation and fresh.

Despite the increase, Woolworths’ overall score from suppliers did fall 0.3 points, suggesting opportunities for improvement, especially in regards to private label and Woolworths’ use of data.

Coles strategy shift

UBS said it believes Coles needs a shift in its strategy, something the financial service providers says will require incremental investment.

“Coles strategy has become reactionary, with an over-reliance on price-based promotions and not enough focus on other value measures (quality, community, family), albeit this is changing,” UBS wrote.

Woolworths wins Christmas 2017

UBS reported suppliers believe Woolworths won the 2017 Christmas period, an achievement it believes significant with Christmas a key barometer for the remainder of the financial year.


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