By James Atkinson

Coles Liquor has declared its intention to triple its private label sales over the next five years following a restructure that has resulted in the departures of several key buying figures.

It’s understood that somewhere between ten and 15 employees left Coles Liquor following the overhaul in September that saw the broader Coles business shed about 400 jobs from its Melbourne headquarters.

The Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) division established 12 months ago has been axed and its functions subsumed into the liquor division’s merchandising and marketing teams.

ELB general manager Grant Ramage and liquor buying head Tim Carroll were the highest profile departures.

The company has since advertised for a new head of sourcing and appears no less committed to its private label strategy.

“Coles Liquor are on a journey to expand the market share and have a senior leadership opportunity for a head of sourcing to drive the private label brand strategy and the exclusive liquor offering with key focus to double the private label sales for the business over a three year period,” the October 2 advertisement says. 

“Managing the private label portfolio across all brands, the head of sourcing will build our private label offerings across all the Coles Liquor brands to meet the right range requirements.”

A Coles spokesperson said the merchandising restructure will enable the team to have a greater focus on its brands, “whether they are private label or independently branded products”.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. So Coles and Woolies can both have the same wines for sale @ $11.99, one with a Tree on the label, the other with rabbits proclaiming exclusivity.

    Good to see Marketing degrees put to good use

  2. One would assume that this move is not related to improving the quality of the offer, but to avoid price comparisons with brands available through other outlets. Or to put it more bluntly, to fool the customer.

    Hope all the independents like this move.

  3. Coles liquor just seem to be able to keep getting it wrong. I’m sure it must be up for sale? Why would Wesfarmers out up with such poor management?

    As for the exclusive wines, clearly they are there to prop up margins in a competitive marketplace… Once is which Coles liquor consistently fails in.

  4. Seriously, ALL brand owners take note. Take your products out of Coles owned stores and see how they go. Take Penfolds, take Oyster Bay, take Wolf Blass, take Orlando out of supply. Go on, have some guts. They are openly taking on your brands and you’re sitting back letting it happen. If there is a CEO who is a real industry leader you’ll make the move. Bet you don’t though.

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