The Coles Group has reported its third quarter results, with overall sales revenue down 5.1 per cent to $7.7bn, driven by supermarket sales decreasing 6.1 per cent as Coles cycled the significant impacts of COVID-19 that occurred during late February and throughout March of the prior corresponding period (pcp).
Liquor sales increased by 2.6 per cent on the pcp, with Coles stating the impacts on this business began to occur in late March 2020 as the national lockdown took hold. Comparing sales growth with the same quarter two years ago, with no COVID-19 trading, total sales are up 7.2 per cent, with supermarkets up 6.8 per cent and liquor up 8.9 per cent.
Coles Group CEO, Steven Cain, said: “I am pleased to be reporting ongoing successful execution of our refreshed strategy, continued support of communities in need, including those impacted by the NSW floods, and the beginnings of a return to normality for Australians’ everyday lives.”
Coles Liquor sales revenue for the third quarter was $759m, with a strong performances in ecommerce and Liquorland underpinning the growth. On a category level Coles said that spirits and RTDs were key drivers of growth.
The group reported ecommerce sales grew by 72 per cent, with Coles saying this was helped by enhancements to its online shopping experience, including the the introduction of SMS order confirmations and order tracking functionality. Capacity was supported by the opening of three dark stores in the prior quarter.
Coles said: “Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market delivered trusted value for customers by lowering prices for longer. An enhanced range continues to be a strategic focus with range reviews completed across craft beer, cider and RTDs while investments in the customer offer and capabilities have translated in to strengthening customer metrics.
“Renewal activity continued across all three Liquor banners. The new Liquorland trial concept store continues to perform well and the trial has been expanded. First Choice Liquor Market conversions have continued and have now been rolled out to 74 per cent of the First Choice network. The new Vintage Cellars trial format is also showing positive signs with one renewal completed during the quarter.”
During the quarter, three new Liquor stores were opened and four stores closed, taking the total network to 924 Liquor sites, with a total net selling area of 216,303 MAT sqm.