Wesfarmers Limited has announced its retail sales results for the first quarter of the 2018 financial year, which has shown continued growth for its liquor business, although at a slower rate.

The group also highlighted Liquorland has led the sales growth, as the liquor business enters the fourth year of its planned transformation.

Wesfarmers reported that Coles’ headline food and liquor sales for the first quarter were $7.97bn, which is up 1.5 per cent on the prior corresponding period. For the quarter the comparable food and liquor sales increased 0.4 per cent and comparable food sales increased 0.3 per cent.

Food and liquor price deflation for the quarter was 2.3 per cent and Coles Managing Director John Durkan said excluding the impact of fresh produce deflation, comparable food and liquor sales in the first quarter were broadly in line with the 2017 financial year’s trend.

“As we outlined at our full year update in August, we continue to proactively invest in value, quality, availability and service for our customers. This underpinned continued improvements in transaction growth, unit growth and customer satisfaction in the quarter . We believe our focus on a customer-led strategy will ensure Coles maintains its strong market position in a highly competitive market, and will deliver sustainable long-term growth,” Durkan said.

Speaking about liquor, he added: “The liquor business continued to build on its positive sales momentum, largely led by Liquorland. The transformation to date has seen a focus on improving price competitiveness, range and the quality of the store network. Further opportunities remain as we continue to enhance our offering to customers through product innovation, exclusive brands, new channels and improved service.”

In its full-year report in August, Coles reported that food and liquor recorded sales growth of 2.0 per cent, with comparable sales growth of 1.0 per cent, which built on the strong sales growth of the previous year.

Liquor added to its store network, opening 11 new stores and closing six stores during the quarter. One hotel was also closed. At the end of the period, Coles had a total of 888 liquor stores and 88 hotels.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *