Morrisons sales down as store loses out in convenience and online shopping

Morrison Supermarkets saw like-for-like sales down 2.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to 3 November, with "subdued" consumer confidence being paired with the store's "low exposure" to the key growth areas of convenience and online. Including fuel, sales were down three per cent. Chief executive Dalton Philips commented that the market is "tough". (Release)

The store did open 36 new "M local" convenience branches during the quarter, bringing its total to 69 country-wide and with expectations that, by the end of this year, there will be 100. Plans to expand online delivery will see the store serving 50 per cent of UK homes, including London, by the end of next year.

The new Fresh Format concept was introduced into 42 more stores, and Morrisons says its on track to deliver it into 100 shops by the end of 2013. The first phase of its Own Brand development was completed, with 11,000 products being relaunched.

In terms of outlook, the supermarket says its on track, though it expects the market to remain challenging.

Morrisons Christmas advertising campaign launches tomorrow. Philips says, "and with Christmas just round the corner, we are pleased to see customers responding well to our Big Christmas Bonus and industry leading deals."