Woolies sales slowed by power of little shops
Supermarket giant Woolworths has reported that comparable sales slowed for the first quarter of 2019 due to the impact of the plastic bag ban and rival Coles’ popular Little Shop campaign.
Food sales rose by 1.9 per cent to $9.9 billion reflecting a “challenging start” to the quarter, but momentum improved in September and October.
“Australian Food had a challenging start to the quarter with sales impacted by our customers’ and team’s adjustment to the removal of single-use plastic bags as well as the impact of a competitor continuity program and the change in timing of Earn and Learn,” Woolworths said in a statement released today.
Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said although it was a challenging quarter for sales, customer and brand metrics remained strong and online sales increased.
“In WooliesX, online sales increased 26 per cent with Pick up remaining a key driver; Woolworths Rewards members increased to 11.1 million. Online sales across the Group increased by 28 per cent with New Zealand Food and BIG W particularly strong,” Banducci said.
New Zealand Food was up 2.6 per cent while BIG W sales grew by 1.3 per cent to $902 million as a result of ongoing investment. The group’s drinks business, Endeavour Drinks, also saw an increase in sales growth, with sales up 3 per cent to $2.1 billion.
In addition, the company’s discontinued fuel operations sales rose by 8.2 per cent to $1.3 billion due to higher petrol prices.
The company also noted progress on environment with a reduction of over 600 million single-use plastic bags and referenced its community efforts with over $7.5 million raised for drought relief, 280 payments to drought-affected dairy farmers and 500 Junior Landcare Grants.
Banducci said all businesses are now focused on delivering an “exceptional Christmas experience” for customers.