Coles has chosen RELEX Solutions, an artificial intelligence optimisation firm, to service 931 Coles Liquor Stores.

RELEX Solutions will operate its ‘Living Retail’ platform in Liquorland, First Choice Liquor Market and Vintage Cellars locations, alongside five distribution centres across the country. This system provides supply chain strategies, using artificial intelligence to develop greater visibility and extended planning horizons to allow for enhanced product availability.

Coles Liquor General Manager for Transformation and Supply Chain, Genevieve Hawkins, said: “RELEX has a proven track record of helping retailers master the intricacies of each retail category’s specific inventory management needs.

“This is an exciting and important investment for Coles Liquor, which will materially improve our ability to have the right stock in the right place for suppliers, shops and customers.

“It will drive greater operational efficiency across our business and is a key element of our strategic drive to be a truly omnichannel business.”

Coles has previously worked with RELEX to centralise ordering systems and reduce food waste at its supermarkets, with Mikko Käkkäinen, the CEO of RELEX Solutions, expressing his delight at the ongoing partnership.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Coles with this expansion into Coles Liquor – I’m confident that we will provide value to Coles Liquor today and into the future,” Käkkäinen said.

“This also marks an important step in our continued Australia expansion, and we are excited to strengthen our presence in Australia even further this year.”

Coles Liquor predicts Easter trends

Coles Liquor has also announced what trends it has predicted for the imminent Easter long weekend, tipping white wine as a key area of consumption.

According to data gathered by a Coles survey of 8,500 customers, 35 per cent of drinkers are planning to drink white wine this Easter. Beer and sparkling wine are both set to be popular choices, with both categories attracting 30 per cent of drinkers respectively, while 27 per cent of respondents said they plan to enjoy red wine over the Easter occasion.

Easter is another traditional holiday affected by the no and low alcohol trend, with seven per cent of those surveyed saying they will be drinking products from this category. Coles’ research also stated that: “Sour style beers and pink gin were among the top new beverage trends for Easter.”

Demographically, Coles found that females were more likely to reach for cocktails over Easter, while men expressed a preference for beer.

Chris Tabois, Coles General Manager Merchandise for Liquor, responded to the survey findings and said: “This weekend, we know people around Australia will choose to celebrate Easter in different ways and we have a range of great locally produced options to meet all tastes.

“Customer data shows us most Australians will choose to drink white wine or sparkling wine and we recommend Chandon Vintage, Beyond the Wilderness Sparkling Rose and Nepenthe Elevation Sauvignon Blanc.”

“To support customers looking for lighter in alcohol and no alcohol choices we have an expanded range available in store and online with some recent new additions in SJP Sevenly Range and Brown Brothers Ultra Low Prosecco.”

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