Coles catching up as Woolworths dumps Safeway name and unveils new brand

Wesfarmers said its new acquired supermarket business Coles is no longer losing market share to Wesfarmers, but chief executive Richard Goyder has warned the turnaround of the company will take five years.

Wesfarmers says its new acquired supermarket business Coles is no longer losing market share to Wesfarmers, but chief executive Richard Goyder has warned the turnaround of the company will take five years.

Coles contributed $422 million in earnings before interest and tax in the seven months to 30 June, but its sales in the June quarter were relatively weak, climbing 2.8% compared to 4.9% growth at Woolworths.

Goyder has warned the next 12 months will be tough for Coles as the economy struggles, but he says the slowing economy has made it easier for Wesfarmers management to pinpoint the areas of Coles that need the most attention.

Woolworths, not Safeway

Meanwhile, Woolworths has this morning confirmed it will axe the Safeway brand in Victoria and adopt a new brand image across its supermarket network.

In a brief statement issued this morning, Woolworths says the new identity – to be unveiled at Mona Vale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches at 11am today – is the first change since it introduced the current livery, and The Fresh Food People positioning statement 21 years ago.

The company says the imagery will be progressively rolled out across all its 780 Australian supermarkets.

The new branding has been created by leading designer Hans Hulsbosch of the Hulsbosch Agency, which recently updated the Qantas identity.

According to Woolworths, the branding introduces a new icon that symbolises several aspects of the Woolworths brand, including the company’s fresh food focus, and is reminiscent of one of the most famous Woolworths logos of the 1970s.

As part of the move, Woolworths’ Safeway stores in Victoria will be adopting the Woolworths name. This will align the company’s Victorian supermarkets with Woolworths’ national network.

Woolworths general manager of marketing, Luke Dunkerley, said the rebranding reflects Woolworths’ commitment and track record of providing Australian shoppers with quality fresh food and groceries at competitive prices.

“We are re-branding stores to retain our leadership position in what is an extremely competitive market. We have only achieved this leadership position by ‘walking the talk’ and Australian shoppers are voting with their feet,” he said.

“The refurbishment of the supermarkets that is accompanying the re-branding will deliver customers wider aisles, brighter supermarkets and a more pleasant shopping experience.”

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