Coles will expand its click-to-collect offering to over 520 more supermarkets nationally by the end of the financial year as it plays catch-up with rival Woolworths.
In financial filings, Coles said it would roll out click-and-collect across its supermarket and Coles Express networks.
It currently has 280 sites nationally that support click-to-collect, and the expansion will mean “more than 800 sites” being enabled by the end of FY18.
Coles has been in the click-and-collect space since 2011.
However, rival Woolworths leaped into the space and ahead of Coles when it unveiled a revamp and rapid expansion of its own click-and-collect product, which it calls Pick Up, last year.
In September Woolworths added 670 stores to the Pick Up service - for a total of 970 locations - within the space of just one month.
Coles' expansion of its own program means both supermarkets will have duelling national click-to-collect offerings.
Both have trialled - or are trialling - different business models for online shopping, such as Woolworths’ grocery lockers at train stations, and Coles with a personal shopping service through marketplace Airtasker.
Coles today said it was seeing “strong double digit sales and transaction growth” from its online operations.
Also today Coles’ parent Wesfarmers said it would set up a “group centre of excellence … to support data/digital innovation and growth”.
It wasn’t immediately clear what role the subsidiary brands would play in that group-wide capability, but Wesfarmers led its results briefing with a commitment to “develop our digital and data capabilities”.
Wesfarmers otherwise saw a huge fall in net profit for the first half, caused by ongoing issues with its Bunnings UK division.