However, Mr Durkan told investors last month that, faced with continued cost pressures, Coles needed to simplify and reduce its cost of doing business. "To enable further investment in value in fresh food, we will continue to drive productivity and efficiency through our business and we have significant opportunity to do so through simplifying our business," he said.
Mr Durkan says Coles has improved over the past six years but still lags global retailers in measures such as sales per metre of floor space, freshness, supply chain efficiency and the cost of doing business. "We can move the dial quite considerably and on some of those things we can be world leaders," he said in a speech to investors in May.
Supermarket chain Coles plans to cut between 500 and 600 jobs from its head office in Melbourne as part of a renewed efficiency drive aimed at freeing up funds to reinvest in reducing food and liquor prices.
Read more here: SMH