Sales growth has slowed to 2.6% for Coles Liquor in the third quarter, following a 15.1% rise in HY21. Sales revenue was $759 million for the period, with comparable sales growing by 2.1% despite what the Coles Group described as the “significant impact of COVID-19 on liquor sales late in the prior corresponding period”.
Coles’ supermarket sales fell for the first time in more than 50 quarters, down 6.1%, following the easing of panic buying around the country.
In Liquor, Strong performance in eCommerce and Liquorland underpinned sales growth while spirits and RTDs were the key drivers of growth at the category level.
Strong eCommerce sales growth of 72% was supported by the implementation of customer experience enhancements, including the introduction of SMS order confirmations and order tracking functionality. Capacity was supported by the opening of three dark stores in the prior quarter.
Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market delivered an enhanced range, which Coles Group said continues to be a strategic focus, with range reviews completed across craft beer, cider and RTDs.
Renewal activity continued across all three Liquor banners. The new Liquorland trial concept store continues to perform well and the trial has been expanded. First Choice Liquor Market conversions have continued and have now been rolled out to 74% of the First Choice network.
Coles said the new Vintage Cellars trial format (above) is also showing positive signs with one renewal completed during the quarter.
During the quarter, three new Coles Liquor stores were opened and four stores closed, taking the total network to 924 sites.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said: “I am pleased to be reporting ongoing successful execution of our refreshed strategy, continued support of communities in need, including those impacted by the NSW floods, and the beginnings of a return to normality for Australians’ everyday lives.”