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Coles Supermarket Marketing Plan

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 2593 words Published: 11th Dec 2020

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Executive Summary

Coles Supermarket is the largest supermarket chain in Australia that operates retail and departmental stores.  It is a largest subsidiary company that focuses on selling fresh product to its customers. It provides a great shopping experience to their customers including grocery stores, liquor shops, care products and financial returns. It also contributes in nation’s economy. It aims to increase the competitive advantage by advertisement.

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This report analyse the marketing plan of Coles Supermarket and discuss about the current marketing strategy implemented by the company to attract and retain the customers. It also analyse the marketing environment of company using swot analysis framework and Porter’s Five Model to explain the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors of the company. Moreover, the company use this marketing strategy to increase their customers and to build strong relationship with their customers. In addition, swot analysis is used to analyse the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of Coles Supermarket.


This report represents the analysis of marketing environment of Coles Supermarket. It identifies and analyse the micro and macro environment using PESTLE analysis such as political, environmental, social, technological, legal, ecological and Swot analysis such as public, supplier, intermediaries, customers and competitors. These tools help to analyse the market structure and develop marketing strategies to achieve their goals.

Coles Supermarket

Coles Supermarket was found in 1914, Collingwood, Melbourne. It has grown to be Australia’s second largest supermarket chain that operates 807 supermarkets with 100,000 team members. In mid-2004, the company established Coles express stations to provide great customer service. Its original slogan was ‘nothing over 2/6’. Coles has many competitors such as Woolworths and Aldi. Therefore, to compete with their rival companies, Coles launched new slogan in 2010 that was ‘Down Down, Prices Are Down’. Furthermore, it is a subsidiary company of Wesfarmers that bought Coles Supermarket in 1914. The company owns Au $22.2 billion assets and Au $33 billion revenue.

Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour studies how individuals, groups and organisations select, purchase and dispose of goods and services that satisfy consumer’s desires. It understands consumers and develops effective marketing strategy to influence consumers thinking and feeling. In the case of Coles Supermarket, if they fail to satisfy their customers then their profit margin will decrease. Therefore, to attract their customers, Coles increased their sales to 5.1% in more than two years.


Microenvironment is a surrounding that can be treated as homogenous or well characterised in the concentration of an agent (Zartarian, 2005). The factors of microenvironment are the company, customer, competitors, public, supplier and marketing intermediaries. These factors help to build good relationship between customers and marketers.

The Company-Coles Supermarket

Marketing helps company to develop strategies, plan and manage services the company provides. Coles believe good things happen when you do good things. Hence, they provide fresh grocery food, meats and encourage healthy livings. As an Australian company, they are keen to deliver quality local products to their customers.

In addition, the company have 50% shares in Local Pacific Pty Ltd that operates Flybuys. They operates loyalty program and rewards their customers with many facilities. Moreover, they also provide loans and other offers to statisfy and attract customers. 


Customers are the consumer who buys goods and services and produce main revenue for a retail business. In case of Coles Supermarket, there are huge numbers of rival competitors which provide some power to buyers. There are many grocery stores that offer local brands at a lower price (Easten, 2008). Hence, in the market, competition increases with increase in sellers. Furthermore, to increase the buying power of customers, Coles Supermarket has to offer better prices and quality products. The marketing management of Coles Supermarket has to study the buying behaviour of their customers to satisfy their needs and desires.


In terms of Coles Supermarket, suppliers supply goods and services to the business through third party auditing system.  Coles Supermarket promotes fresh and healthy agricultural and meat products at the highest level directly from farms (Coles, 2008). Therefore, they have to ensure their supplier supply quality product with reasonable price to maintain their brand. Also, they have to verify their standard of supplier to maintain trust among their customers.


There is a dramatic competition among Australian Supermarkets such as Woolworth and Aldi. They have been sharing market with Coles Supermarket stores and internet platform too. For instance, people love to shop online than reaching out to stores these days. Hence, these supermarkets offer quality products with free home delivery with affordable price to compete among other business rivals.


Publics are those people who have real and potential interest in the company that influence the business activities. There are different types of publics such as financial, media, government, local, general and internal publics. There are certain marketing groups and retail brands that show interest to work with Coles Supermarket (Buttle, 2006). Other brands of Coles Supermarket have also successfully managed to provide good service to their customer. Therefore, publics play a vital role that influence business of the company.

Marketing intermediaries

Marketing intermediaries such as wholesaler, retail, agent and distributor helps a firm to promote, purchase and sell goods and services. This plays an important role in current marketing environment of Coles Supermarket which control price, quality, food packing and customer’s sentiment. It helps to maintain good relationship with suppliers, marketers and distributor of Coles Supermarket. In addition, supply chain management have created vital contribution of the organisational intermediaries (Peter, 2010). This helps Coles to create more advertisement which help to promote their products in another level. Also, it attracts customer to meet their demand with different product and brand.

Macro Environmental Analysis

The macro environment such as gross domestic product, inflation, employment, spending, monetary policy and fiscal policy is not controllable by an organisation. However, marketers can influence the macro environment by operating and making decisions for organisation.

PESTEL Analysis

Political Factor

The political environment depends on political belief and judgements that affects function of business and their decision making process. Coles is a large retail company that fulfils the need of its customers. The political factor affects the company in terms of business environment and growth opportunities. Moreover, the business sector would grow or collapse because of the political stability. The political disturbance discourages firms by lower rate of return and high risk of business failure. Since the market structure of Coles is functioning stable, there is a less risk of business loss.

Environmental Factor

Australian government and people are very conscious about the environment and introduced several laws and regulations to safeguard the environment. It is important to follow those laws and regulations to survive in Australian market. Australian government banned markets to use plastics and non-renewable energy to protect environment that supermarket like Coles has to come up with their new renewable bags. Hence, Coles Supermarket must meet the changing laws to operate their mission in Australian market. Moreover, the political factor helps organisation to make sound marketing decision. The company has implied different environmental sustainability approaches to meet the environmental regulations (Cadogan, 2009).

Socio-Cultural factor

The social values and culture of an environment helps to function the company. Culture influences consumer to control their buying habits. Australia is a diversified country with multi culture population. With the change in the cultural belief of the people, the buying habits and taste of the consumers also changes (Dillon, Madden and Firtle, 2010). Therefore, Coles must focus on diversified products that are on high demand in Australian market. Moreover, Coles Supermarket has to focus on multicultural market, diversification of product and competitive price to get success.

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Technological Factor

Technology can rapidly rise or break down price structure and competitive market at short period of time. It is important for Coles to innovate and maximise profit and become a market leader in future. Currently, Coles has added self-checkouts into their store that increased the number of lanes and speed shopping experiences. However, it can be seen that not every technology is welcomed by consumers. Hence, the business requires that kind of technology that is accepted and preferred by customers.

Legal Factor

A significant change in rules and regulation can make a huge impact on Australian market and their operations in retail market. The government introduced ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) that governs the retail industry. The Australian government change their rules and regulation every year that also affects the taxation of country. Increase in taxation decreases the purchasing power of consumer and vice versa. This affects the revenue model of the company. Therefore, flexible marketing strategy should be capable to meet changing political factors of the Australian market.

Economic Factor

Economic factor impacts on consumer’s decision making and purchasing power. A business depends on the economy to produce and distribute the products and services in same market. Currently, the instable international financial market impacts the economic condition of Australia. Due to financial crisis and unemployment, the purchasing power of customers had declined and affected price in market. Hence, Coles Supermarket must offer a competitive price of products that customers can afford in current economic scenario (Mullin, 2006).

Swot Analysis

Swot analysis is a technique to understand the strength and weakness to identify opportunities and threats that the organisations face. The purpose of swot analysis is to identify the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of Coles Supermarket with the help of micro and macro environment analysis.

Micro Environment


  • Coles is a second largest retail store in Australia.
  • Successfully generate positive returns
  • Strong financial position with profits in last 5 years
  • Low and affordable price structure
  • Large assets base and solvency

Weakness (W)

  • Adds unnecessary costs to business
  • Negative advertisement affects the sentiment of customers
  • High rented properties
  • Issues of management

Opportunities (O)

  • Growth opportunities in liquor
  • Trainings and opportunities for staff members
  • Globalisation and franchise of Coles Supermarket
  • Attract new customers

Threats (T)

  • Increase in competitors
  • Fluctuations in interest rates
  • Change in customers taste
  • Increase in substitute products
  • Workforce diversification

Macro Environment

SO Strategy

  • Providing quality service in both store and online delivery
  • Price cuts and offers in many products
  • Adding more brands in stores

WO Strategy

  • Lower the price of products
  • Maintaining good relationships with business investors

ST Strategy

  • Promotion of brand and product to attract the customers
  • To develop value added products and services
  • Accelerate new markets for development
  • Everything should be available under one roof

WT Strategy

  • Sustainability and innovation through partnerships to make a better workplace


This report describes the strategic management of Coles Supermarket how it became a largest retail supply chain that successfully serves their customers. Coles Supermarket is a largest retail food industry in Australian market. As a result, there are many competitors and have to face many difficulties which affect their business and the company. The supermarket has corporate social responsibility to promote their business ethics that creates significant identity in business market. Therefore, to attract the customer they provide many offers with affordable prices.

With the help of SWOT analysis, it analyse the mission and targets of the company and offers the best price in market. However, development of technology has created many business rival companies that affect the market value of the company. Hence, it is recommended that the company should develop strong marketing strategies to compete in global market. The company have to meet the customer’s expectation by lowering the price, providing quality products and varieties of brands to choose from.


  • Buttle, F. (2006) Relationship marketing. London: Chapman.
  • Cadogan, J. (2009). Marketing strategy. London: SAGE.
  • Coles Supermarket. (2016). Retrieved from: https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles
  • Coles, J. (2008). The Pattern of Retail Food Stores in a Small City. Journal of Marketing, 13(2), p.163.
  • Coles, J, and Erdman, H. (2015). Some Aspects of the Arguments against Grade Labelling. Journal of Marketing, 9(3), p. 256.
  • Dillon, W., Madden, t. and Firtle, N. (2010). Marketing research in a marketing environment. Homewood, IL: Irwin
  • Easton, G. (2008). Competition and Marketing Strategy. European Journal of Marketing , 22(2), pp.31-69.
  • Peter, J., Olson, J, and Peter, J. (2010). Consumer behaviour and marketing strategy. Homewood, IL: Irwin.
  • Mullin, R. (2006). Creating a marketing strategy [marketing development]. Engineering Management, 16(6), pp.40-41.


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