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Coles to dump print catalogues as it launches its direct-digital platform

As Australians increasingly look online for their daily shopping inspiration, Coles is launching coles&co, a brand new experience that will offer the specials alongside exclusive content to inspire customers with new products, tips and recipes. The weekly catalogues found in your letter box and inserted in the local newspaper are fast becoming a vestige of yesteryear as businesses calculate the "hit rate" and find their customers have moved online.

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said of the move “With COVID-19, we’ve really seen a shift to online shopping in the last few months, as lots of our customers try our contactless home delivery and Click&Collect services for the first time. We’ve also seen an increase of more than 50% in readership for our digital catalogue since March.”

“We are living at a time of unprecedented societal change, including a surge in the diversity  of consumer tastes and dietary needs. As customers add more fresh food to their diet they’re shopping more often, and their appetite for immediacy and digital information means a weekly, one-size-fits-all, catalogue in their letterbox is no longer as relevant for them as it once was.

“We’re using our digital capabilities to replace it with something more personalised. As we add new features, this could include recipes that change daily rather than weekly, as well as tailored content on food and drink trends.

“We will be investing more in digital content and capability for customers and suppliers, as well as better value by lowering the cost of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and improving our sustainability by reducing our reliance on paper.”

Above: The delivery of weekly printed catalogues to customer letterboxes has been a feature of the Australian supermarket shopping experience for decades.This was temporarily suspended during the first wave of COVID-19 due to limited product availability caused by a surge in demand.

In making the announcement Coles say "With the shift in customer preference towards digital communications, from 9 September 2020 Coles will no longer deliver printed catalogues to letterboxes."

“Since 2000 we have delivered around 200 billion pages of weekly catalogues to letterboxes across Australia,” Mr Cain said.

Mr Cain said ceasing the delivery of printed catalogues would save over 10,000 tonnes of paper every year – the equivalent of an estimated 80,000 trees.

“We’re committed to being Australia’s most sustainable supermarket and reducing our reliance on paper by prioritising digital channels like coles&co is a significant step towards that goal,” Mr Cain said.

A significantly reduced volume of printed weekly catalogues will continue to be available in store.

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