Trailer Magazine

Coles Online generates $1B in annualised sales

  • Posted on Wednesday 17th, July 2019.

Supermarket company, Coles, has reflected on 20 years of its e-commerce operations, which has grown from a single warehouse in Melbourne to become a billion-dollar business.

Coles Online launched in June 1999 and initally offered delivery services to 23 postcodes in Melbourne. It operated from a single pick-and-pack warehouse in Clayton with some items sourced from Coles Springvale. A trial commenced in Sydney the following December.

In 2002, Coles Online was reportedly delivering one million items per month to customers, and in 2003 the business doubled in size with the acquisition of online grocery site, Shopfast.

Coles Online outsourced picking, packing and delivery to Australia Post in 2003. Today, Coles facilitates order fulfilment from stores across the country with a fleet of 650 delivery vehicles.

Coles Online expanded to Queensland in 2008 and the following year it launched in Western Australia and South Australia. The current delivery service is reported to reach 80 per cent of Australian homes.

With annualised revenue passing $1 billion this financial year, Coles Online General Manager, Karen Donaldson, said the business was now setting the foundations for future growth through a partnership with UK-based Ocado Group.

"As part of our Smarter Selling strategy, Coles is increasing our use of technology to improve efficiency and enable us to keep pace with rapidly-evolving customer needs," said Donaldson.

"Ocado’s automated fulfilment technology and home delivery solution will ensure that we deliver a best-in-class customer experience," she said.

Ocado will reportedly construct two automated fulfilment centres in Sydney and Melbourne by FY2023.

Coles is also developing an efficiency program to minimise the distance travelled by Coles Online vans to allow for quicker delivery at a lower cost and fewer emissions.

(Image: Coles Online Business Process and Improvement Manager, Brian Donald.)

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