Far from going down, Coles supermarkets and liquor stores sold $6.73 billion worth of goods during the March quarter, an increase of 3.9 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Coles boss Ian McLeod said the supermarket giant achieved record sales per square metre during the quarter, with more than 20 million customer transactions.
“This represents a continuation of Coles strong performance following five years of positive comparable sales growth,” he said.
Coles’ food and liquor sales rose 4.7 per cent to $21.7 billion in the nine months to March, according to figures released by Coles’ parent company Wesfarmers.
Sales from Coles petrol stations lifted 2.4 per cent to $1.9 billion for the March quarter.
Wesfarmers’ home improvement business Bunnings sold more than $2.08 billion worth of goods during the quarter, a 12.3 per cent rise compared to a year ago.
Among Wesfarmers’ other retail businesses, Officeworks recorded a 6.7 per cent rise in sales to $445 million while Kmart lifted its sales 0.4 per cent to $845 million.
But Target continued to struggle, with sales down 3.6 per cent from last year to $674 million.
Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder said lower sales were partly due to efforts to turn around Target’s longer term performance.
“Target recorded sales 3.6 per cent below last year due mainly to difficult trading early in the period as the business continued to reposition its offer towards less promotional dependence with a view to securing long-term, sustainable growth,” he said in a statement.
The company said Target continued to lower its prices during the quarter to reduce its reliance on over-ordering and over-promoting as it works towards a “first price, right price” strategy.