Morrisons' sales take a Christmas battering

UK supermarket chain Morrisons has admitted to 'disappointing' sales over the festive period, even taking tough market conditions into account.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Wm Morrison announced on Monday that, thanks to aggressive promotional tactics by competitors, like-for-like sales fell 2.5% in the six weeks to December 30 compared with the same period the previous year.

The chain said the figures were ‘disappointing’, conceding that it will need to ramp up its efforts with competitive promotional deals and win back customers from other supermarkets. 

In a statement, 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.’ 

The chain also suggested that other chains have stolen a march on the multi-channel approach, whereas Morrisons has ‘only recently entered’ the market with smaller convenience stores and online retailing. 

Chief executive Dalton Philips said: ‘In a difficult market our sales performance was lower than anticipated, but we have a strong business and significant opportunities to advance our strategy, as we accelerate our multi-channel offer.’

It is thought that Morrisons will be launching a new online groceries e-commerce offering later in 2013, and shareholders are obviously confident that the firm can pull itself back up: shares rose 1% in early trading on Monday. 

The results come less than a week after John Lewis and Next reported a bumper Christmas period, which offered some hope that retailers had an easier ride than the previous year. 

Unfortunately, the results are particularly disappointing for Morrisons because it actually outperformed Tesco the previous Christmas – the latter had to issue its first profit warning for 20 years after some poor festive season sales.

Still, we’re yet to hear from Sainsbury, Asda and Tesco about their Christmas sales. Just how disappointing Morrisons’ sales are will be clearer once we know about the others…

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Upcoming Events

Latest on MT

When will high street banks disappear?

When will high street banks disappear?

Branches are closing at an accelerating rate, but don't expect them to disappear entirely.

Burger chain Byron em-broiled in controversy after immigration raid

Burger chain Byron em-broiled in controversy after immigration raid

Reputational disasters can emerge out of thin air.

Apple still over-relies on the iPhone

Apple still over-relies on the iPhone

The tech giant's trying hard to diversify, but karaoke shows and Pokémon Go won't make up for dropping iPhone sales.

Will Mark Zuckerberg's mobile-first strategy make Facebook bigger than Google?

Will Mark Zuckerberg's mobile-first strategy make Facebook bigger than Google?

UPDATE: Facebook's mobile revenues increase 84% year on year. Does this give the social network the edge over Google?

5 things you didn't know about R&D tax credits

5 things you didn't know about R&D tax credits

Is your business innovating? You could claim back tax on fuel, staff and other costs.

Can you start your own business without quitting your day job?

Can you start your own business without quitting your day job?

Torn between the freedom of the start-up life and the security of the payroll? As a part-time entrepreneur you can have both.