By Aimee Chanthadavong

Coles has beaten its supermarket rivalry Woolworths with a 6.2 per cent growth in food and liquor sales of $6 billion in the first quarter.

“For us it’s not about beating Woolworths, it’s about improving our performance and the experience for customers, and we are pleased with the way things are tracking,” Alan Carpenter, Wesfarmers spokesperson, told Retailbiz.

Wesfarmers also announced that strong sales were reported by the company’s Kmart and Officeworks brand. Kmart reached total sales of $926 million, up 3.7 per cent over the previous corresponding year and Officeworks reached $360 million, up 9.1 per cent.

Similarly, Bunnings also saw strong sales that as leveraged by the strengthening of its store network and customer offer. During the first quarter, four Bunnings Warehouses and one smaller format store were opened.

On the other hand, Target experienced a challenging period with a 1.4 per cent drop in total sales to $847 million. The company said the results were reflective of the impact of price deflation across the market

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said: “The Group remains pleased with the momentum achieved across its overall retail portfolio, evidenced by an increase in transaction numbers across all divisions, as our businesses respond to a value focused and purposeful customer.”

He also noted that the company remains “cautiously optimistic” about the next quarter, although there is obviously still some uncertainty caused by prospective interest rate rises before Christmas.