Things are looking up for Coles, despite a drop in liquor sales

Coles has reported strong supermarket sales growth in the last three months, offsetting a drop in liquor sales attributed to cost of living pressures.

Apr 30, 2024, updated Apr 30, 2024
Choice director of campaigns Rosie Thomas (photo supplied)

Choice director of campaigns Rosie Thomas (photo supplied)

Coles Group had $9.07 billion in supermarket sales for the 12 weeks to March 24, up 5.1 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Liquor sales fell 1.9 per cent to $786 million, the company reported on Tuesday.

E-commerce supermarket sales grew 34.9 per cent, while online alcohol sales climbed 4.1 per cent.

Total supermarket price inflation moderated to 2.2 per cent in the latest quarterly figures, from 3.0 per cent in the previous period, providing some relief to squeezed customers.

Prices fell for some fresh produce including red meat and various fruits.

Bakery prices rose due to wheat commodity prices, Coles said.

The supermarket group’s half-year results from February showed Coles gaining on Woolworths during the period.

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It will become clear on Thursday when Woolworths reports third-quarter sales results if that momentum has continued.

The supermarket giants are under significant public and political pressure.

Coles and Woolworths have been accused of ripping off suppliers, price gouging customers and squeezing out competitors.

The major chains are under scrutiny on several fronts, including state and federal parliamentary inquiries and an investigation by the competition and consumer watchdog.

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