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Monday, 20 October 2014

Morrisons’ performance ‘worse than expected’

CHRISTMAS sales at one of Britain’s four major supermarkets fell short this year.

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DROP: Morrisons, which operates a store in Barrow, has reported its like-for-like Christmas sales figures as being down 2.5 per cent since compared to 2011

Morrisons, which operates a store in Barrow, has reported its like-for-like Christmas sales figures as being down 2.5 per cent since compared to 2011.

The chain operates 455 stores across the UK and employs 130,000.

Competition in the sector over the Christmas period has been fierce, with the big players focused on promotional deals and money-off coupons.

Tesco sharpened its performance after a disastrous 2011 and is likely to show a modest return to like-for-like sales growth later this week, while Sainsbury’s will also be up by around one per cent in sales figures released tomorrow.

Morrisons has also been squeezed by further strong growth from discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Morrisons said: “The environment over the Christmas period has continued to be challenging with hard-pressed consumers increasingly shopping to a budget and vouchering a prominent feature of a highly promotional market.”

However, the Bradford-based company admitted it has not done enough to advertise its promotions and communicate its points of difference.

Chief executive Dalton Philips recently announced an advertising deal with TV presenters Ant and Dec and sponsorship of hit shows Britain’s Got Talent and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in a bid to promote the chain’s fresh food credentials.

A move into online shopping is expected later this year, while the company hopes to open 70 convenience stores by the end of 2013.

Mr Philips praised staff for achieving good availability of produce and high standards of service during the festive peak period.

However, he added: “In a difficult market our sales performance was lower than anticipated, but we have a strong business and significant opportunities to advance our strategy.”

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