Coles convenience results impacted by floods and Omicron

Coles’ convenience sales revenue was $269 million for the third quarter, according to the retailer’s latest results.

This was a decrease of 2.2% on the prior corresponding period, with comparable sales decreasing by 0.8%. This was, however, an improvement on the 5.6% decline recorded in the second quarter.

Gross retail sales of $285 million decreased by 2.1%.

According to Coles, sales growth was impacted by significant flood events in NSW and Queensland and reduced consumer mobility as a result of the Omicron variant early in the third quarter.

However, the “improving trajectory” of convenience sales growth, says the retailer, was supported by seasonal categories such as drinks and ice cream, and food-to-go with continued strength in coffee across all states.

The decline in tobacco sales “moderated” during the quarter with underlying convenience sales (excluding tobacco) increasing by 3.5%.

To further improve the customer experience and provide convenient payment solutions, Coles says Express launched a new Shell Coles Express app in Victoria with pay at pump and store locator functionality, along with monthly in-store offers. National roll-out of the app is due to commence in the fourth quarter.

Fuel

Fuel volumes declined by 4.9% during the quarter with comparable fuel volumes declining by 3.9%. This, says Coles, was driven by the impacts of floods, the Omicron variant, as well as the “sharp rise” in fuel prices due to geopolitical events in Ukraine and Russia.

Average weekly volumes of 55.9ml per week were recorded.

During the quarter, one site was opened, and one site was closed, taking the total network to 711 sites.

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