Saturday, August 31, 2013

Retail octopi spread tentacles

Competition between the demonic duopoly continues to drive expansion strategies: Coles and Woolies plan to create 2,000 jobs in Queensland.

Woolworths has plans for 9 new supermarkets which presumably includes the Gordonvale store recently approved by the court.  The proposed Central Park development to be anchored by Woolworths in the CBD is reportedly not affected by the recent appointment of administrators and receivers to the businesses of HS Vision.

Coles plans include 5 new supermarkets and refurbishment of 11 existing stores in Queensland this year. While any proposals for Cairns are not specified Coles has been active:
Coles spent $20 million over the last four years to tweak its Cairns offering, where it now employs more than 1000 people across 11 stores.
The Cairns Central store is certainly in need of refurbishment and will need attention if the nearby Central Park development does proceed. An interesting aspect here is the adjoining Bi-Lo store in the centre.  Prior to the Wesfarmers takeover Coles had been in the process of rebranding all Bi-Lo stores as Coles.

There are now just 45 Bi-Lo nationally and 9 in Queensland. With Cairns Central the largest of the lot the strategy from Coles here for this adjoining space will be interesting. I also posted last year on reports of a proposed centre expansion of Cairns Central.

The possibility or retail deregulation may also be a factor in expansion plans with a recent post on this at Queensland Economy Watch: 24 hour retail trading inevitable and desirable

That factor may not be so significant in Cairns where we already enjoy more liberal trading hours as a tourism centre.

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