Sales are up at Coles Liquor as the retailer suggests that
increased at-home consumption will be the ‘new normal’, despite
lockdowns easing across the country.

In its
first quarter results
, the owner of First Choice, Vintage
Cellars and Liquorland, said that sales grew 17.4 per cent on the
prior corresponding period to $852 million, aided by 80 per cent
growth in online sales.

“Liquor sales remained elevated throughout the first quarter
across all states despite the relaxation of on-premise consumption
of liquor in some states,” the statement to the ASX this morning
said.

Coles revealed that
trends in buying behaviours continued
, with customers
purchasing “value-oriented, larger pack sizes” in beer and
spirits.

In store, champagne, gin and single malt whisky all grew by more
than 50 per cent, it said, but cask wine category declined as
customers changed drinking behaviours.

As part of
a focus on private label brands
and locally-sourced ranges, it
launched 400 new state-local products including 89 in its most
recent quarter, an area of the market which its competitor
Endeavour Drinks Group has also found lucrative.

It also revealed that in the first four weeks of its second
quarter, comparable sales in its Liquor division grew 16.9 per
cent, or 15.3 per cent excluding Victoria which has only this week
started to ease out of strict lockdowns.

The supermarket giant said that this indicated that “increased
levels of at-home activity and entertaining are likely to underpin
home consumption of food and liquor” will also bolster its online
performance.

It also predicted that restricted international travel is likely
to boost population numbers particularly during traditional holiday
travelling periods.

Across the board, group sales rose 10.5 per cent to $9.6 billion
for the quarter, and it incurred $65 million in COVID in the
period.

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