Coles eyes off the customer and 'fresh' positioning

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 22 June 2016

Coles is striving to put the customer at the centre of its business, managing director John Durkan has told investors at the Wesfarmers strategy day.

Taking place today, all the businesses in the Wesfarmers family are presenting their strategic pipelines, with Coles outlining its commitment to the customer, whether they're in-store or shopping online.

“We're committed to keeping the customer at the centre of everything that we do,” Durkan says. “This ensures sustainable long-term growth...this is a long-term plan” he added.

In its last annual general meeting rival supermarket business Woolworths outlined that it too was eyeing off customer centricity, with its chairman Gordon Cairns saying Woolworths needs to “restore the culture of customer centricity”, which was its hallmark for years.

Coles also stressed its commitment to its 'fresh' brand positioning, with the business outlining that it's delivering growth in sales.

Durkan explained that customers are responding to the brand's “fresh food focus” with volume growth consistently growing at 10%.

This will also be another sore spot for Woolies, with Coles jumping in on the 'fresh' positing mid-way through last year, and since then has only continued to ramp-up the use of the “Coles Fresh” line.

Durkan also outlined that the bolstering of its online offering is also paying off for the business, with online sales rising by 25% for the year-to-date. He said online is still a focus for Coles, with the business adding that delivering a “world class” customer experience for Coles Online remains a key opportunity for the business moving forward.

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