Saturday, October 27, 2007

Corporate games and brand destruction - the end of Coles

G J Coles is one of Australia's iconic brands. The company grew to dominate the Australian retail scene. Woolworths, its main rival, was in disarray.

Woolworths came back. As it did, Coles declined. Now Coles is vanishing as a public company, taken over by the WA based Wesfarmers.

Frankly, Coles deserved to go. To the outside observer, its arteries had become clogged. This applied all the way from its recruitment system, cumbersome and unresponsive, to its management of specific store activities.

Coles always tried to run as a centralised entity. This can provide economic gains, but it can also make the whole operation slow and unresponsive. And in Coles' case it did.

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