Coles has made some significant changes to its senior team, indicating that sales momentum at the retailer is slowing.
New roles to focus on quality, price and availability
Coles' managing director John Durkan has moved quickly to sure up the performance of Coles, following increasing speculation that sales growth at the retailer is slowing. Customer service and merchandising are the areas to receive particular attention, with the heads of business units taking control of quality, price and availability. Changes include:
- George Dymond the current marketing director will become grocery director
- Andy Coleman the existing operations director will take up the role of director of deli, seafood and convenience foods
- Chris Nicholas the merchandise director will remain in his role, with both Dymond and Coleman reporting to him rather than direct to John Durkan
- Simon McDowell will become chief customer office and will retain his responsibility for property and store development
- Alister Jordan will be in charge of Coles Express, on top of his current role as head of online and corporate affairs
- Leah Weckert will become head of people and culture, promoted from GM of Victoria
Woolworths and Coles competition looks set to escalate
Woolworths fighting back following a difficult FY2016 is one of our big trends to watch in Australia in the year ahead. Woolworths has made some significant changes in recent months; selling off non-core assets, changing key personnel and slowing space growth to focus more on existing space renewals. This has led to increasing rumours that Woolworths is set to out pace Coles' LFL growth for the first time in over 30 quarters of results when the retailer release H1 results this month. The changes made by Durkan will both shake up the senior team at Coles, but also strengthen its focus on key business KPI's.