Coles enjoyed a 5 per cent jump in sales for the first quarter of the 2019 financial year thanks to the success of its ‘Little Shop” promotion and investment in flybuys.
Parent company Wesfarmers announced that the supermarket recorded sales for the first quarter of $7,657 million, up 5.8 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
Managing director Rob Scott said the result was “pleasing” and credited in-store execution ahead of the proposed shareholder vote on the demerger of Coles.
“Strong growth in basket size, transaction numbers and units sold, as well as improvements in fresh market share supported the sales result. Coles’ liquor and convenience segments also recorded headline sales growth for the quarter,” Scott said.
Comparable food sales increased by 5.1 per cent for the quarter with liquor store sales up by 1.3 per cent.
Coles convenience store service, Coles Express, saw an increase (incl. fuel) of 2.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period with headline convenience store sales growth of 2.4 per cent, driven by improvements to the food to-go offering and convenience range. Headline fuel volumes decreased 14.8 per cent and comparable fuel volumes decreased 15.9 per cent due to higher global oil prices.
Coles Online achieved over 30 per cent sales growth for the quarter and is set to surpass $1,000 million in sales for the current financial year. Over 1,000 Click & Collect locations were rolled out by the end of the period.
Additional costs for the quarter included investments in flybuys and cost incurred during the reusable plastic bag giveaways. The EBA introduced in April also saw additional costs compared to the corresponding period.
The drought impacted pricing in the bakery and meat categories due to a higher cost of grain and lower supply of livestock. Fresh produce costs also increased.
Investment in the store network continued with 21 store renewals, including the next evolution Liquorland format and seven First Choice Liquor Market brand conversions.