Retail in Asia

In Sectors

Sales slump hits Woolworths

Woolworths, Australia’s biggest retailer, has posted its worst sales growth in nearly seven years as it struggles with a rejuvenated competitor in second player Coles and suffers price deflation at the checkouts as high as 20 percent for some groceries.

Delivering Woolworths’s sales results for the third quarter, chief Grant O’Brien on Friday also cited a cool, wet summer across the eastern states, which sank sales of seasonal goods such as soft drinks and ice cream and contributed to the supermarket’s overall stagnant sales growth.

He warned that while the quarter, which covered the 13 weeks to 1 April, showed an improving sales trend – pulled higher by new initiatives implemented by the food and liquor teams – the retailer remained cautious about the outlook for the final quarter, with a significant sales upturn not expected until next financial year.