Coles eyes brave new world of opportunity

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The changing competitive and digital landscape provides significant opportunities for differentiation, says Coles Managing Director John Durkan.

Speaking at Wesfarmers’ 2018 Strategy Briefing Day last week, Mr Durkan identified key factors of the changing retail landscape:

  • Competitive intensity – competition from both new and existing players.
  • Digital disruption – shopping convenience and experience are increasingly tied to technology.
  • Changing missions – consumer preferences and shopping habits are constantly evolving.

Mr Durkan says Coles has developed a new, differentiated strategy that will make life easier for customers.

On the product front, fresh departments are a priority, and the retailer will focus on service and training, and improved freshness and quality. Coles also aims to drive its own brands, planning a step change in quality and innovation, new strategic global relationships, and aims for 40 per cent penetration by 2023.

Coles is also looking to deliver “unparalleled” customer convenience and is investing across all channels to enable a seamless “anytime, anywhere” shopping experience.

The company continues to explore delivery and pick-up options for online shoppers and is also looking to “reinvent the in-store experience”. Stores, it says, will be tailored to the shopping mission of local customers. This will involve filling network gaps, particularly in inner-city locations, with smaller store footprints, including standalone convenience stores.

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