Australian coal-to-groceries conglomerate Wesfarmers today (29 June) announced that it has sold 45 Coles supermarkets and eight associated Liquorland stores to independent retail group FoodWorks.

The company said the move was part of its plan to improve its overall network of over 700 Coles supermarkets and 600 Liquorland outlets. Wesfarmers described the sale as an “important step” in the Coles turnaround.

Payment for the stores totalled A$35m (US$28.2m), including payment of stock, cash and the transfer of employee entitlements.

The deal will ensure continued service to customers and secure the future of all employees at the affected stores, Coles MD Ian McLeod said.

McLeod added that that Coles would continue to push ahead with its turnaround strategy, including its store renewal plan.

“We’ll continue to focus on landing the right store formats in the right locations across Australia for our customers. The renewal store programme will see our supermarket store network continue to grow,” he commented.