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The Australian supermarket scene is dominated by two giants: Coles and Woolworths. Together, they account for 61% of local grocery sales, according to Roy Morgan.
But how do they stack up head-to-head? Here are the key details:
As aggressive competitors, Coles and Woolworths very rarely have different pricing for the same items. That's true of both their store-branded products and for mainstream brands. Ongoing analysis of their specials by Finder also suggests these are often seen in both supermarkets. If Twinings tea is on sale at Coles one week, you can expect that special to be replicated at Woolworths in the near future. The same applies across dozens of categories.
If you're looking to save money, taking advantage of specials is the key, but you can do that in both supermarket chains.
The winner: This one's a dead heat.
The same also applies to shopping online. In the past, both chains have charged different prices for online shoppers to what you'd pay in-store, but as of 2019 pricing is consistent between online stores and what you'll pay in your local branch. There is some variation in pricing between states.
The winner: Again, we'll have to call this one a draw.
Free delivery makes grocery shopping online much more tempting. Both Woolworths and Coles offer free delivery options, but the details differ. Keep an eye out for coupons that can reduce regular delivery prices or offer money off for your first order.
The winner: Coles, for providing free delivery options that go beyond your first order.
Assuming you don't qualify for free delivery, how much will you pay?
The winner: Coles has the edge here, as the charges for a sub-$100 order will generally be lower and its delivery options are more flexible.
Both supermarket chains have their own loyalty schemes: Woolworths Rewards for Woolworths and flybuys for Coles. These each operate in a very similar fashion: they're free to join, you earn points from all your shopping at the supermarket and other associated stores, and once you accumulate 2,000 points, you can get a $10 off voucher for your next shop.
Alternatively, you can convert your points into frequent flyer points. Coles lets you convert flybuys to Virgin Velocity, while Woolworths Rewards convert to Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Where flybuys gains an edge is being able to spend your points on gift cards or a range of other products through the flybuys catalogue, which is an option that isn't available with Woolworths Rewards.
The winner: The greater flexibility of flybuys makes Coles the winner here.
Both supermarket giants offer a range credit cards that can help you earn more reward points. Our credit card experts have put together a comprehensive comparison of the cards available from each chain.
The winner: Your choice of credit card will depend on a range of features, including interest rate, annual fee and rewards options. As such, there's no clear-cut winner to be declared.
|Last checked||Code description||Code|
|27 Nov 2019||50% off swimwear||spl****|
|26 May 2020||Up to 70% off sale + new styles added||********|
|20 Dec 2019||$20 off your first order||********|
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