Coles chief claims Amazon has ‘reset expectations around delivery times’

Coles boss Leah Weckert has pointed towards Amazon’s aggressive entry into the Australian market during the cost-of-living Senate inquiry today, noting how the global shopping giant has a “willingness” to achieve market share while running up losses.

CEOs from Woolworths and Coles are being questioned at a Senate inquiry in Canberra today.

Weckert’s appearance in the Senate comes after a fiery morning, during which Greens Senator Nick McKim threatened Woolworths chief Brad Banducci with prison time if he failed to answer a question about the company’s return on equity.

Senator Dean Smith asked Weckert for her opinions of Amazon’s impact in the Australian market, in regards to supermarkets.

Weckert replied that Amazon’s entry has “reset expectations around delivery times”, with overnight deliveries no longer adequate.

“From what we’ve seen overseas, Amazon has become a significant player in the packaged grocery space overseas and have expanded to the fresh space around the world,” she said of the company’s Amazon Fresh play in international market.

“Their operating model is to come in and set up a more traditional offering,” she explains, “but will increasingly move into that grocery space, and very, very competitively.”

Weckert also shot down talks of divestment, saying the “unintended consequences” would be harsh in regional Australia, and that “supply chain costs tend to be higher” in those areas.

“If reducing economies of scale and having stores that potentially are closing in regional areas, the customers in those towns would no longer benefit from statewide pricing,” she explained.


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