By Andrew Starke

Woolworth’s flagship supermarket division has recorded slight growth for the third quarter but with sales figures for food and liquor well down on the corresponding period last year.

Australian Food and Liquor sales for the third quarter were $8.8 billion, representing an increase of 3.8% (Q3 09: 9.9%) or 3.3% Easter adjusted (Q3 09: 10.8 % Easter adjusted).

Comparable store sales in Food and Liquor increased 2.0% in the third quarter (Q3 09: 7.9%) or 1.6% Easter adjusted (Q3 09: 8.8% Easter adjusted).

The results reflect the inevitable hangover from last year’s results when the Government’s stimulus package bolstered consumer spending.

“Our customer focused initiatives have made a positive contribution to this result, including continued store refurbishments, our Everyday Rewards program with Qantas Frequent Flyer and a substantial price reinvestment with over 3,500 shelf prices lower than they were a year ago,” said Director of Food, Liquor and Petrol, Greg Foran.

“We are focused on delivering to our customers consistently lower prices, supported by strong specials. These initiatives have resulted in increased customer numbers, increased items sold and increased basket sizes.”

Four new supermarkets were opened during the quarter taking the total to 816.

One new Dan Murphy’s store opened during the quarter taking the total number of Dan Murphy’s stores to 115.

The Shout Team

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

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