Coles staff take trip back in time to celebrate anniversary

IT WAS the year Paramount Pictures was formed, the First World War began and Charlie Chaplin graced movie screens as his most famous character, the Little Tramp.

But 1914 also marked the opening of the first Coles store.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Coles staff members (from left) Justin Ferguson, Nicky Hoseit, Lisa Kenny, Sand Vincent, Ben Schild and Kylie Ward cut the cake during the supermarket’s 100th birthday celebrations at Tannum Sands last Wednesday.
Upon the first supermarket opening in Australia, two shillings was all you would need to purchase goods.

G.J. Coles and his brother James opened the store, located at Smith St, Collingwood, Victoria, on April 9.

Their focus was to provide Australian families with great value.

Coles managing director Ian McLeod said stores would celebrate their centenary throughout this year.

“G.J. Coles was a businessman, a family man and a philanthropist dedicated to providing both quality and great value,” he said.

In 1930, G.J. Coles said: “A very important thing to remember when purchasing is to order Australian-made goods, as this obviously creates more employment in Australia than does the handling of goods produced elsewhere.”

One hundred years on and Coles now has 2300 stores operating around the country, employing up to 100,000 staff.

Tannum Sands Central Shopping Centre celebrated the supermarket’s centenary last Wednesday.

Staff took a trip back in time by donning period clothing and packing their customers’ groceries in paper bags.

Tannum Sands store department manager Lisa Kenny said staff had decorated the front of the store in an old-time style.

She has worked with Coles for almost 19 years.

“The team members are really good and for me personally it’s a very family orientated company,” she said.

“They help you in any way they can.

“We also get a lot of great customers, some who come in every day.”

September will mark the Tannum Sands supermarket’s 10th anniversary

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Sheng Siong has also won bids for two more stores Singapore

Tight competition and a smaller retail area did not stop Sheng Siong Group’s cash registers ringing in the first quarter, it reported yesterday.
The supermarket operator rang up net profit of $18.25 million for the three months to March 31 – a 6.6 per cent year-on-year increase – while revenue rose by 5.1 per cent to $228.28 million.
Floor space in Singapore was down 4.6 per cent to 436,000 sq ft, in spite of four new stores opening. The group now has 48 supermarkets here, after its Verge and Woodlands Block 6A outlets shut. It opened a supermarket in China in November.

Sheng Siong has also won bids for two more stores – in Bukit Batok and Yishun – which are expected to be up and running this quarter. Research house Nomura previously said that those stores should start contributing from the second half of the year, and are expected to lift full-year earnings by 3-4 per cent.
The firm added that it will keep looking for retail space – including in public housing estates where it does not yet play – and will continue to bid “in a rational manner” for new Housing Board shops.
Still, it noted that the industry is expected to stay competitive, and potential trade wars could also upset the apple cart.

The group said in its outlook: “Besides competitive pressures, gross margin would be affected if input cost is increased because of food inflation, which could be caused by disruption to the supply chain or changes to prices caused by nations imposing trade tariffs.”