Wesfarmers gets a confidence boost with online sales results

Wesfarmers has reported during its 2014 half-year results that it recorded AU$1.1 billion in total online sales during the 2013 calendar year.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Wesfarmers has reinforced during its 2014 half-year results that its multiple online offers across each of its businesses continue to grow.

The parent company to Coles, Target, Kmart, Bunnings, and Officeworks said it achieved a record AU$1.1 billion in total online sales during the 2013 calendar year. By comparison, the retail group alone made AU$28.83 billion in sales for the second half of 2013.

Overall, the company reported a total net profit growth of 11.2 percent to AU$1,429 million during the half year to the end of 2013.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said Coles, its main retail brand, continues to leverage customer analytics to provide more personalised and instant offers to customers with its FlyBuys loyalty program.

The retailer also launched an enhanced Coles Online website in October 2013, which Goyder said was done with the intention to boost traffic numbers, and so far has "received a positive customer response since launch".

In the same month, Target also relaunched its online store. Goyder said the new site delivered enhanced functionalities and a more solid foundation to support the channel's future growth.

Goyder also highlighted Officeworks as another brand that saw customers respond favourably to its online channel, reporting that online sales reached double-digit growth, which represents the ninth consecutive half to achieve this increase. On an annualised basis, the company reported that online sales for the half year exceeded AU$180 million.

According to the company, Officeworks' online offering formed part of its ongoing "every channel" investment aimed at improving its website and online experience.

"The group's retail businesses are expected to continue to grow as they improve customer propositions, invest in value, innovate merchandise offers, focus on operational productivity, and optimise store networks," said Goyder, who admitted in November 2013 that he sees online retail as being a major threat, and labelled US online retail giant Amazon as the "Amazon Gorilla".

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