Convenience store sales growth was one of the highlights in Coles first quarter 2016 sales results for the three months to 27 September 2015. Convenience store sales continuing to grow strongly by 12.9% for the quarter while comparable store sales were up 9.1%. This is in stark contrast to the continuing decline of fuel sales.
“Coles Express sales, including fuel, for the quarter were $1.8 billion, a decrease of 7.8% on the previous corresponding period driven by lower fuel prices. For the quarter, headline fuel volumes increased 1.4% and comparable fuel volumes decreased 1.8% despite increased investment in fuel offers,” the company said.
However, following strong network growth in the 2015 financial year, Coles Express continued to expand its network during the quarter, opening four new sites. This brings the total number of sites to 666, Coles parent company Wesfarmers said.
Wesfarmers Limited managing director Richard Goyder said that Coles’ headline food and liquor sales increased 4.7% during the quarter to $7.6 billion. Growth in customer transactions and fresh participation reflected the ongoing execution of Coles’ value-led strategy and improvements to its fresh offer.
Comparable food and liquor store sales increased 3.6% and comparable food store sales increased 4.0% for the quarter. Coles recorded food and liquor price deflation of 1.3% during the quarter, the strongest level of quarterly deflation recorded in two years.
Coles managing director John Durkan said the continued positive sales momentum was underpinned by a relentless focus on productivity and simplicity across the business, which enabled 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,” Mr Durkan said.
“Our absolute focus remains on delivering trusted value to Australian households through Every Day low prices, compelling promotions and innovation in Coles Brand.”
During the quarter, Coles opened three supermarkets and closed three supermarkets, leaving a total of 776 supermarkets at the end of the quarter.