While sales did remain slow for Coles it did manage to creep above Woolworths in the third quarter results.

As part of Wesfarmers’ third quarter retail sales results, Coles recorded a sales growth of 2.7 per cent, the 15th consecutive quarter sales growth.

According to the company, it was driven by strong growth in both customer numbers and units sold as store sales productivity continues to improve.

Fresh produce deflation of approximately 25 per cent combined with ongoing investment in lower prices resulted in food and liquor price deflation of 3.6 per cent during the quarter.

Managing director of Coles Ian McLeod said that work in further improving quality was reinforced through our increasing commitment to direct sourcing from Australian growers and the extension of ‘Super Specials’ across every state.

“The additional volume from ‘Super Specials’ enabled Coles to absorb extra supply at a time when Australian growers needed support. This, together with our ‘freshness’ campaign, contributed to strong growth in fresh produce participation. This outcome was good for Coles, great for Australian growers and even better for our customers,” he said.

McLeod also said that in Coles third phase of the transformation, Coles continued to develop a strong foundation for future growth with good progress across all key programs, highlighting the importance of the relaunch of flybuys.

Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks also sustained momentum with store sales increasing 4.7 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively in the quarter.

On the other hand, the tough trading conditions particularly in its entertainment categories such as electrical, general merchandise and toys, leisure and books continued to have a detrimental affect on Target’s sales results. It reported that store sales declined by 6.1 per cent.