Coles ceases catalogue delivery; pushes digital offering

New coles&co offering replaces the iconic printed catalogue delivery

Coles is ditching its iconic weekly print catalogue delivery from September and looking to replace it with a new digital ‘coles&co’ experience debuting later this week.

Having suspended delivery of its catalogue when the first COVID-19 lockdown came into effect across Australia, the supermarket giant has confirmed it will permanently cease distributing printed material from 9 September. Coles Group CEO, Steven Cain, said the decision is in response to the rapid digitisation of grocery shopping over recent months.

With the onset of COVID-19, he claimed many Coles customers have shifted to online shopping and services such as contactless home delivery and click-and-collect. Cain also noted a 50 per cent increase in readership of Coles’ digital catalogue since March.

“We are living at a time of unprecedented societal change, including a surge in the diversity of consumer tastes and dietary needs. As customers add more fresh food to their diet they’re shopping more often, and their appetite for immediacy and digital information means a weekly, one-size-fits-all, catalogue in their letterbox is no longer as relevant for them as it once was,” Cain said.

“We’re using our digital capabilities to replace it with something more personalised.”

Coles&co will offer weekly ‘shoppable’ specials, allowing signed-in consumers to tap products and include them in their basket, shopping list or to purchase online. There’s also content around new products, tips and recipes planned. The new service will be available from 13 August via the main Coles website.

“We will be investing more in digital content and capability for customers and suppliers, as well as better value by lowering the cost of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and improving our sustainability by reducing our reliance on paper,” Cain continued.

For example, Coles chefs and other contributors, including Curtis Stone, are eventually expected to provide new content every day. Cain said Coles would also look to tailor content on food and drink trends. The focus is on simple, cost-effective recipes as well as tips and tricks around in-season fruit and veggies.

Despite the digital push, Coles will continue to offer limited number of printed weekly catalogues available in-store only. In the last 20 years, Coles catalogues have represented about 200 billion pages delivered homes nationally, Cain said. Ceasing delivery of printed catalogues would save over 10,000 tonnes of paper every year – an estimated 80,000 trees.

“We’re committed to being Australia’s most sustainable supermarket, and reducing our reliance on paper by prioritising digital channels like coles&co is a significant step towards that goal,” Cain added.

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