Roger Corbett, chief executive of Australian retailer Woolworths, has said his company does not expect to lose market share to rival Coles Myer, despite the latter’s new fuel deal.

John Fletcher, CEO of Coles Myer, which announced yesterday that it has agreed a deal with Royal Dutch/Shell Group which it expects will boost annual sales by around 12% or A$3bn (US$1.95bn),will be hoping to tempt customers away from Woolworths with a discount fuel programme.

“I think that Mr. Fletcher maybe is setting himself a very high target there. We’re not in the business of selling petrol – we’re in the business of selling food,” Corbett was quoted by Dow Jones International News as saying.

“Our customers come to us not to buy petrol. If we can give an ancillary service in petrol that’s good, but they come to us to buy food.

“It’s our focus to provide the best range, cheaper prices and freshness that we possibly can and deserve our customers’ loyalty because they want to buy food from us, not because they want to buy petrol from us,” he added.