Sunday, June 16, 2024

Wesfarmers announces first-quarter retail sales results

Coles’ headline food and liquor sales increased 4.7 per cent to $7.6 billion during the first quarter of FY16, with growth in customer transactions and fresh participation, according to parent company Wesfarmers’ results released this week.

Comparable food and liquor store sales increased 3.6 per cent and comparable food store sales increased four per cent for the quarter.

Coles recorded food and liquor price deflation of 1.3 per cent during the quarter, the strongest level of quarterly deflation recorded in two years. Price deflation was recorded across most categories during the quarter, particularly in fresh produce and grocery.

The retailer’s Managing Director, John Durkan, said the continued positive sales momentum was underpinned by a relentless focus on productivity and simplicity across the business to enable further investment in lowering prices, improving the fresh offer and increasing customer service levels.

“Customers responded positively to continued strong price investment, and this was evident in the growth in volumes, transactions and basket size recorded during the quarter,” he said.

“Our absolute focus remains on delivering trusted value to Australian households through everyday low prices, compelling promotions and innovation in Coles Brand. Customers are unwavering in their feedback that they want great prices, not just on key lines but across the product range, combined with great customer service, and this is exactly what we’re determined to deliver right across Australia.”

Coles continued to improve and optimise its store network during the quarter, opening three supermarkets and closing three, leaving a total of 776 supermarkets at the end of the quarter.

During the quarter, Coles also announced the first six recipients of grants from Coles’ $50 million Nurture Fund, which included garlic, quinoa and berry producers.

“Coles is proud to support innovators in the food industry who are breaking new ground by supplying locally-grown products, which are difficult to source in Australia,” Mr Durkan said.

The transformation of the liquor business remains on track, with early results including increased transaction growth during the quarter.

“The customer experience within Coles Liquor continued to improve during the quarter, and reflected the work completed over the past 12 months,” Mr Durkan said. “While the early improvements are encouraging, more work needs to be done to improve the range, value proposition and store network.”

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