On-the-go food sales have helped boost Coles’ convenience division, according to the supermarket giant, but fuel continues to lag.
Coles’ convenience sales for the first half of the year were up 11 per cent, compared to 9.8 per cent in 2015, however, this was offset by a 13 per cent decline in fuel sales.
Food and liquor recorded sales growth of 5.1 per cent to $32.6 billion, with comparable sales growth of 4.1 per cent. Coles’ supermarkets earnings increased 4.3 per cent to $1.86 billion, with revenue growth of 2.7 per cent. Total convenience revenue was $6.6 billion.
Coles boss John Durkan said Coles was continuing to deliver “compelling value” to its customers, launching supermarket pricing, including Everyday ranges and Coles private label products, across its 690 Coles Express sites.
Mr Durkan attributed the company’s convenience sales growth to its expanding on-the-go offer.
“Driving this growth is our new food-to-go range which includes new sandwich and bakery ranges and we will continue to improve our offer further,” he said.
But it was a different story for fuel. Mr Durkan said fuel’s performance has been driven by a decline in fuel volumes and lower fuel prices.
Headline volumes dropped 4.4 per cent, while comparable volumes decreased 7.9 per cent.
“Coles Express continues to experience pressure on fuel volumes. Our current volume is not where we would like it to be and we’re working on stabilising those volumes,” Mr Durkan said.
Coles Express stores
Coles opened 31 new sites in FY16, with an additional 28 Coles Express sites upgraded with new branding.
Coles has also begun trialling a new convenience concept in Melbourne, Big Yum at Little Coles. Three pilot Big Yum at Little Coles stores have opened in Kew, South Yarra and Windsor in Melbourne.
The Big Yum at Little Coles stores offer a wider range of healthier snacks and on-the-go meals such as wraps, salads, and sushi as well as 80c coffee.
Ready-made meals from Coles’ private label brand, which was relaunched earlier this year with more than 40 new varieties, are also available.
Big Yum at Little Coles has also attempted its own take on 7-Eleven’s trademark Slurpee, with its own brand of slushies called the Guzzle Bomb.