$3,645 $m
Since being acquired by Wesfarmers in 2007, Coles has embarked on a journey of improvement, turning around a relatively underperforming supermarket business through a focus on food quality, in-store service, better delivery, an enhanced loyalty program and improving supply chain efficiency. By deploying campaigns and initiatives to bolster its fresh food credentials, Coles is closing the perception gap with rival Woolworths. The exploration of smart trolleys that combine barcode scanning and RFID technology could provide consumers with a smoother grocery cart experience in the future. Despite these promising signs, Coles continues to invest much of its equity in price-driven communications. The recurrent “Down, down, prices are down” messaging cheapens the brand’s perception. The ongoing price war is also intensifying media scrutiny on the duopoly and the negative implications for the welfare of Australian farmers.