Coles | Wesfarmers (Australia)

Selected Coles & Wesfarmers advertising

Following its purchase of Coles Group in 2007, diversified conglomerate Wesfarmers became one of Australia's two biggest retail groups, home to a collection of different chains. The most significant of these is Coles itself, the country's second largest grocery retailer, now battling to regain its lead over arch-rival Woolworths. The supermarket chain is partnered by a selection of other sizeable local brands including general retailers Kmart and Target and leading home improvement store Bunnings. Wesfarmers' acquisition of Coles Group, a business three times larger than itself, was designed to call a halt to several years of steadily declining performance as Coles struggled to make sense of its sprawling retail operations. It also brought greater focus to Wesfarmers itself, which up until then had dabbled in a wide variety of different sectors ranging from mining and chemicals to insurance and DIY. Following the Coles purchase, almost 90% of Wesfarmers' revenues are generated by retail. Coles and Wesfarmers both celebrated their centenaries in 2014.

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Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Sept 2015: The "Aldi effect" was apparent in the full year results from Australia's biggest supermarket group Woolworths. Just as UK supermarkets are reeling from the competition with German discounters, so are their Australian counterparts. Woolworths reported a near-13% fall in net profits, the first decline in almost two decades, following a disastrous attempt to match Aldi's low price strategy. Chief executive Grant O'Brien has already agreed to leave the group as soon as a successor can be found. Now, group chairman Ralph Waters will precede him out of the door. Woolworths net profit was A$2.15bn on flat revenues of A$61.15bn. In fact, the main culprits for the flat topline were a steep decline in petrol sales (as a result of falling prices) and weak performance at the group's Big W general merchandise business. But analysts have been alarmed by the strategic confusion at the supermarket business, which abandoned its long-established premium positioning during the year in favour of "Cheap Cheap" pricing. In fact Woolworths' results were not much worse than those of arch-rival Wesfarmers, owner of rival supermarket Coles, which quickly adopted the "fresh food" premium positioning abandoned by its rival. Group revenues were flat here too at A$62.45bn, while net profit fell 9% to A$2.44bn. However the Coles grocery division enjoyed solid increases in both sales and operating profit.

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Coles Vintage Cellars
Target Officeworks
Liquorland Bunnings
Kmart Bi-Lo



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