Coles’ 2015 first quarter retail sales results have indicated a food and liquor sales growth of 5.8 percent to $7.3 billion.
Excluding liquor, comparable food store sales increased 5.0 per cent while comparable store sales of food and liquor grew by 4.3 percent.
Food and liquor price deflation eased to 0.5 per cent for the quarter, supported by ongoing investment in value which was partially offset by tobacco excise increases and fresh produce inflation as a result of cooler weather and tougher growing conditions.
Coles Managing Director, John Durkan, said that the comparable sales growth achieved during the quarter was pleasing.
“Coles is focused on being ‘a little better every day’ and we believe that Australians deserve world-class quality, service and product choice, with strong supplier relationships a key enabler of this focus. During the quarter, both Murray Goulburn and Norco commenced supplying Coles branded milk under long-term arrangements,” Durkan said.
Coles opened four larger supermarkets and closed one smaller supermarket during the quarter, taking the total number of supermarkets to 765. A further 22 stores were refurbished during the quarter, taking the total number of supermarkets in the renewal format to 444, which represents 58 per cent of the network.
While Liquor continued to underperform food in the quarter, transformation activities commenced during the quarter. These activities included key leadership changes, a store support centre restructure and the development of detailed plans to accelerate store closures and reset the range.
Coles opened 16 new liquor stores, the majority of which were stores co-located with Coles supermarkets, and closed nine stores during the period, resulting in a total of 838 liquor stores.