Coles has delivered its first quarter results with the liquor business reporting sales revenue of $874m, an increase of 2.6 per cent on the prior corresponding period, with comparable sales growing 1.4 per cent.
On a two-year basis, liquor headline sales growth increased to 20.4 per cent in the first quarter compared to 12.5 per cent achieved in the fourth quarter of FY21, while two-year comparable sales growth in the first quarter increased to 19.2 per cent compared to 13.1 per cent achieved in the fourth quarter of FY21.
Coles said: “Sales growth was driven by a strong performance in Liquorland, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria as a result of the closure of on-premise venues in both states, while strong eCommerce sales growth of 72 per cent was supported by recent capacity investments and customer experience enhancements.
“eCommerce penetration increased to 4.5 per cent in the first quarter compared to 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of FY21. Spirits and Ready to Drink (RTD) continued to be key drivers of growth at the category level.
“Recent investments in customer service, a focus on delivering trusted value through lowering prices for longer, and targeted range activity in lighter red varietals, rose and sparkling wine, craft beers, gin and RTD seltzers, also translated into strengthening customer metrics. Complementing the range activity, Exclusive Liquor Brand (ELB) and local product contribution continued to grow.”
Coles’ store renewal policy continued, with 35 stores renewed during the quarter and two new liquor stores opened, taking the total network of stores to 931.
Speaking about the overall group’s performance, Coles Group CEO, Steven Cain said: “As we embarked on our third year of strategy execution, the COVID-19 Delta strain presented significant challenges in the quarter, which are now beginning to ease as vaccination rates increase.
“I would like to thank the Coles team, our suppliers and community partners who have done an extraordinary job in this 18-month battle with COVID-19 to ensure continuity of supply as an essential service.
“We are now looking forward to providing a safe and happy Christmas and summer season, serving Australians with more sustainable, great value and easy entertaining inspiration – for what we expect will be a record number of smaller gatherings for families and friends.”