In Shops

Coles, Woolworths feeling online bite from retailers

Australia’s major supermarket chains will soon face the same digital disruption that has carved a swath through discretionary retail sectors such as ­electronics, books and homewares.

The local supermarket duopoly is coming under attack from pure-play online retailers and packaged goods suppliers seeking growth by selling directly to consumers, according to management consultant A. T. Kearney.

A. T. Kearney’s global consumer and retail partner, Michael Brown, says low-cost, pure-play online retailers ­selling products from pet food to health and beauty supplies, and packaged goods companies selling toilet paper, nappies and cleaning products direct to consumers will siphon sales from the major chains overseas, undermining their business models. Unless Woolworths and Coles ­maintain their dominance over online grocery sales, they risk losing volumes to smaller rivals and becoming less ­relevant to consumers.
 

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