Sainsbury's strikes wholesale deal down under

UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has agreed a deal to sell its own-brand products via Australian grocer Coles’ stores and website.

A selection of Sainsbury’s goods – including packaged groceries and household products – will be made available down under, representing the company’s largest wholesale deal yet. Coles serves 21 million shoppers a week across its homeland.

The range will be white labelled under the Coles brand and sold throughout the retailer’s 800 supermarkets and circa 700 convenience stores. Sainsbury’s strategy is to build its wholesale business, with this latest move an addition to other agreed partnerships in Asia, Europe and the UK.

There may also be goods coming in the opposite direction, with Sainsbury’s saying it is investigating how it might offer Coles’ groceries and alcohol to its UK customers.

Michael Luck, director of business development at Sainsbury’s, commented: “Coles is one of Australia’s leading food retailers and we are delighted to enter in to this new partnership with them.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to offer more of our fantastic products to customers around the world through wholesale partnerships like this one.”

Coles is looking to evolve its approach through a recently announced transformation programme supported by a new partnership with Microsoft.

Earlier this year the Australian business secured a deal with the global technology company, which entails a shift to cloud-run operations and the exploration of how artificial intelligence can enhance the organisation.

Coles is already set to work with UK online grocer Ocado, which is planning to build automated fulfilment centres in Sydney and Melbourne to support the retailer’s online platform.

Meanwhile, German logistics automation provider Witron has been tasked with building automated warehouses in Brisbane and Sydney to handle grocery distribution to supermarkets. Coles also uses back office systems from the SAP suite.