Coles Urges Suppliers to Cut Costs Amidst Rising Living Expenses

In a recent communication to packaged food and grocery suppliers, Jonathan Torr, a top executive at Coles, emphasised the importance of cost reduction in response to consumer concerns about affordability. With living expenses increasing and pressure from both consumers and regulators to lower shelf prices, Torr stressed that cutting costs is a shared responsibility between Coles and its suppliers.

Torr highlighted the need for suppliers to help shoppers “stretch their wallet further,” indicating that reducing prices would benefit both supermarkets and consumers. Coles aims to utilise its extensive supplier network to lower prices at checkout, addressing concerns about allegations of price gouging and market power abuse.

As part of this effort, Coles recently convened a conference for its packaged grocery suppliers, emphasising the importance of addressing cost-of-living pressures. Torr reiterated the significance of affordability, urging collaboration to reduce costs and improve efficiency to make everyday essentials more accessible to customers.

While Coles focuses on affordability, it acknowledges the challenges faced by households dealing with rising living expenses. By collaborating with its major suppliers, Coles aims to alleviate these pressures and ensure that food and groceries remain affordable for all customers.

Recent discussions with suppliers have revolved around potential price reductions, with Coles citing moderating inflation and declines in commodity prices as justification. Suppliers may be asked to reduce prices by as much as 14%, particularly in non-food packaged groceries. Coles plans to implement a new Down, Down campaign, offering discounted prices across various food and grocery categories over 13-week periods.

In summary, Coles is committed to working with its suppliers to address affordability concerns and provide value to customers amidst economic challenges. Through collaboration and cost reduction efforts, Coles aims to make essential items more affordable for Australian households.

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