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Coles Supermarkets facts for kids

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Coles Supermarkets Australia
Pty Ltd
Industry Retail, Supermarket & Consumer services
Founded 1914; 109 years ago (1914)
Hawthorn East, Melbourne
Number of locations
776 (including several BI-LO Supermarkets)
1,400+ (including Coles, Coles Express branded petrol stations & BI-LO
Key people
John Durkan (Managing Director)
Curtis Stone (Ambassador)
Revenue IncreaseA$33.00 billion (2016 - Food & Liquor)
Operating income
IncreaseA$1.9 billion (2016 - Division)
Total assets A$22.1 billion (2016 - Division)
Number of employees
Parent Woolworths Limited

Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd, trading as Coles, is an Australian supermarket chain owned by Wesfarmers.

Founded in 1914 in Collingwood, Melbourne by George Coles, Coles operates 776 supermarkets throughout Australia, including several now re-branded BI-LO Supermarkets. Coles has over 100,000 employees and, together with rival Woolworths, accounts for more than 80 per cent of the Australian market.

Coles Online is the company's online shopping ('click & collect' and home delivery) service.

Between 1986 and 2006, Coles Supermarkets was a brand of Coles Myer Limited, later Coles Group Limited, prior to Wesfarmers purchasing Coles Group.


George James (G. J.) Coles learned the retail trade working for his father's 'Coles Store' business from 1910 to 1913. (The store continued operating as "The Original Coles" at Wilmot, Tasmania until it was destroyed by a fire on 24 January 2014.) Coles itself was founded when G. J. Coles opened the 'Coles Variety Store' on 9 April 1914 on Smith Street in the Melbourne, Victoria suburb of Collingwood. Further expansion occurred and Coles' interest in food retailing was spurred in 1958 when it acquired 54 John Connell Dickins grocery stores. It then acquired the Beilby's chain in South Australia in 1959 and 265 Matthews Thompson grocery stores in New South Wales in 1960.

In 1960, the first supermarket (trading under the Dickens name)was opened in the Melbourne suburb Balwyn North, at the corner of Burke and Doncaster Roads where a modernised version continues to operate. By 1973, Coles had established stores in all Australian capital cities. From 1962, its supermarkets were branded Coles New World with accompanying rocket imagery. In 1991, the stores were rebranded Coles Supermarkets and from 1998, simply as Coles.

In 2010, Coles launched a new sub-slogan, "Down Down, Prices Are Down", featuring a large red cartoon hand pointing downwards to symbolise the chain's low price policy. The slogan incorporates the tune of "Down Down", a 1975 hit by British rockers Status Quo. In 2011, the campaign was revised to the fit the tune of Petula Clark's 1964 hit "Downtown". but reverted to "Down Down" later in the year. In 2012, it used Status Quo, which originally recorded the song in 1975, singing and speaking in the newest ad in the series. In February 2016, Coles updated the "Down Down" campaign again, to the tune of That's Amore ("it's a Down Down").

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