Coles managing director Steven Cain has told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that the business is willing to exit the $35 billion retail fuel market for the right price.
Mr Cain said recently the at the company is experimenting with a convenience store format that sells on-the-go food and other goods, but that doesn’t sell fuel.
“Our approach going forward will be like the Wesfarmers one – if someone comes along and offers the right price for the business clearly we’d look at it,” Mr Cain said.
Mr Cain said Coles Express is currently “something of a powerhouse” as it accounts for 18 percent of the retail fuel market and is currently one of Australia’s highest petrol prices.
According to the AFR Coles’ pump prices are often higher than other fuel stations like Caltex, BP and 7-Eleven and is quickly losing market share as a result of an uncompetitive fuel supply.
This has also resulted in fuel volumes for Coles dropping and with the addition of higher prices, resulting in added pressure on volumes.
Despite this, sales from convenience stores rose 3.4 percent due to its improved food-t0-go range.