COLES Myer has axed its Kmart and Bi-Lo brands as part of its biggest strategic overhaul in 20 years. Hundreds of administration staff will be made redundant as the retail giant channels more resources into its 2,200 stores Australia wide. Coles is hoping its share of the $70 billion annual grocery market will increase over the life of the five-year plan, in the face of stiff competition from rival Woolworths. Kmart, which began in Australia in 1969, is to be re-branded Coles from late 2007 and will likely resemble a one-stop-shop, where groceries and general merchandise operate under the same roof. Coles Myer still expects to achieve a net profit of $785 million for 2005-06, boosted substantially by the sale of its Myer business in realising profits around $600 million.
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