In the first half of the 2024 financial year, Coles Group saw a modest 1.8 per cent increase in sales revenue for its liquor wing, with the portfolio of Coles exclusive liquor brands (ELB) supporting this growth.

Total liquor sales reached $2m at the end of the period, with a five per cent increase in EBITDA to $148m. The effects of inflation were evident, with a modest growth in spend per basket while average units per basket decreased. Supply inflation remained elevated, driven by supplier cost price increases and the August increase to the excise tax on beer and spirits.

With a sales revenue growth of 3.6 per cent, the ELB portfolio played an important role for Coles Liquor, as Coles Group CFO Charlie Elias explained.

“Delivery quality and value to customers through our ELB portfolio continued to be a key focus,” he said.

Over the half, 199 exclusive brands were released to market, with a particular focus on new RTD releases. The entry of the Major Major and Barry brands to the market were particular highlights for Coles Liquor during the period. Additionally, Coles ELBs received more than 300 awards in the half.

Liquor eCommerce revenue increased, growing 14.9 per cent and comprising 6.4 per cent of the total customer base, or 7.6 per cent when including purchases made through Coles Online. Growth in this segment was driven by on-demand purchasing.

Loyalty programs also performed positively in the half, with Flybuys active membership increasing by 9.5 per cent.

Value was an important offering to Coles Liquor customers, with a positive response to the “Price Match” campaign in First Choice Liquor Market and the “50 Days of Deals” campaign at Liquorland. Additionally, First Choice Liquor Market was awarded Canstar’s Liquor Retailer of the Year, receiving five stars across all categories, including checkout experience, customer service, store layout, deals and specials, and overall satisfaction.

Investment was made into improving store quality, with 71 store renewals completed and 10 new stores opened across the Liquorland, First Choice and Vintage Cellars banners. Three stores closed, resulting in a total store count of 964 at the end of the period.

With the rising cost of living affecting consumers, Coles Group CEO Leah Weckert said that value will continue to be a key focus for Coles Liquor in the second half of the 2024 financial year.

“In the first eight weeks of the third quarter, liquor sales revenue declined by 2.2 per cent as reduced discretionary spending influenced shopping behaviours,” she said.

“Our focus for the half will be on inspiring customers, ensuring that we have a strong value proposition and leveraging our integrated food and liquor businesses to deliver long-term benefits for the group.”

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1 Comment

  1. Own brands do nothing to support small producers who are shut out and most of the labels dont promote an actual vineyard.
    This is why it’s important to support independent groups of mum and dad owners of hotels and bottleshops rather than coles,woolies or aldi.

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