Christmas sales down 5.6% at Morrisons
Morrisons suffered a 5.6% fall in like-for-like sales excluding fuel in the run-up to Christmas amid what it described as difficult market conditions.
In the six weeks to 5 January 2014, total sales excluding fuel dropped by 1.9%. As a result, the supermarket now expects its full year underlying profit performance to be towards the bottom of the range of current market expectations.
In a trading statement issued today, Morrisons said the Christmas trading period had been challenging and that the supermarket had suffered due to its lack of a significant online and convenience store business.
Morrisons added that the rollout of its convenience store chain was continuing “at pace” with 85 shops now open and a target of 200 by the end of 2014/15. In addition, its newly launched online food business will make its first deliveries tomorrow and is expected to reach half of UK households by the end of the year.
Chief executive Dalton Philips said: "In a very tough market our sales performance over Christmas was disappointing. However we are firmly focused on driving our core business and accelerating our penetration of the fast growing channels.”
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