Coles ups Down Down price war, fallout to hit suppliers, independents

Coles supermarket chief John Durkan has confirmed that the supermarket major remains committed to its low price Down Down Every Day price strategy with prices to drop generally under a new Deeper Down campaign, instead of in several categories such as milk and bread. The move is an ominous warning for suppliers and independent grocery and convenience stores.

Mr Durkan told the Sun-Herald newspaper that Coles doesn’t fear competition and is not changing its strategy. “For five years we’ve been lowering prices and that isn’t changing; this is a long-term effort for us,” he said.

The news came after Woolworths indicated in March it was lowering prices to win back sales from the likes of Coles and Aldi, while Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone said that nothing extraordinary has yet been seen on Australian grocery prices.

In February, Coles launched a Deeper Down price promotion and said it had dropped the price of bread by up to 34% and moved bread into its Every Day Value product category, with bread prices falling from $5.19 to $3.40 and $4.29/$4.19 to $3.00.

In conjunction with the Deeper Down discounts, over 50 new products will join the list, while Deeper Down was said to be a price commitment for six months.

“Together with some of Australia’s favourite brands, we are offering our customers Deeper Down Down prices. This means pantry staples that are already on Down Down will have their price reduced even further, with discounts up to 34% on brands including Nescafe, Lipton and Sanitarium,” Mr Durkan said.

In September last year, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi rolled out 85 cent private label white bread and pushed bread prices down at the discount end.

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