The Coles (ASX:COL) share price is down 10% this year

2021 hasn’t been kind to the supermarket giant.

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This year has been rough for Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) shares, which have fallen 9.78% since 2021 began. At Thursday’s close, the Coles share price was trading at $16.69 after falling 0.42% for the day.

Let’s take a look at what Coles has been up to in 2021.

Coles’ 2021 so far

The first news we heard out of Coles this year – its half-year results – seemed to be the catalyst for its share price troubles in 2021.

Over the 6 months ending 3 January, the company brought in 8% more revenue and increased its net profits by 14.5%. Its gains were driven by solid growth across all of Coles’ segments. Though, it wasn’t all good news.

The company warned that depending on many factors, one being the vaccine rollout, it was likely it wouldn’t be able to replicate the half-year’s performance.

According to Coles, the six month period saw Australians panic-buying as COVID-19 left the nation facing both long-term and sporadic lockdowns. It said such a retail environment was unlikely to occur again.

The release of Coles’ half-year results saw its share price fall 10.73% over the following 2 days.

Luckily, the market reacted positively to Coles’ third-quarter update, released on 28 April.

The company announced a quarterly decline in sales, which was expected following its half-year results. However, in positive news, Coles’ sales were 7.2% higher than the same period of 2019.

While Coles’ quarterly update didn’t give any guidance for the company’s future earnings, it did state the supermarket giant was beginning to see normal consumer behaviour return.

The 2 trading sessions following Coles’ quarterly release saw its share price gain 4.87%.

The supermarket’s most recent news

Yesterday, Coles announced its online supermarket will now be accepting flypay as a payment method. Previously, flypay has only been available to customers of Coles liquor and selected retailers.

According to Coles, flypay is a digital wallet that also lets users collect and pay for goods with Flybuys points. Additionally, Coles says using flypay makes for a faster and easier checkout. This is due to flypay storing a customer’s payment details and their address for deliveries.

Flypay was developed in collaboration with Flybuys – owned by Coles and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) – and Visa Inc (NYSE: V)’s Token ID. Whilst the news may have been positive for consumers, it did little to inspire investors, who sent the Coles share price lower in Thursday’s session.

Coles share price snapshot

It’s safe to say this year has been a challenging one for Coles shares on the ASX.

However, the Coles share price has gained 5.43% since this time last year.

The company has a market capitalisation of around $22.3 billion, with approximately 1.3 billion shares outstanding.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Visa. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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