Leading UK supermarket Morrisons has today reported a 3.1 per cent rise in total sales excluding fuel over the busy Christmas period.
In the six weeks ending January 2nd like-for-like sales grew by only one per cent year-on-year and total sales including fuel were up by 4.7 per cent, but this is better than many large retailers who suffered in December due to heavy snowfall.
Morrisons is the first of the major grocers to publish a Christmas trading report and its seasonal performance will be better judged once the results of its rivals’ festive promotions are made public.
Dalton Philips, Morrisons CEO, said: “This has been another good performance in a tough market. At Christmas, when customers are even more focused on great quality food at outstanding value, the Morrisons differences really stand out.
“I’m very pleased with the way the whole business has risen to the twin challenges of a difficult consumer environment and a prolonged spell of adverse weather.”
Morrisons has established itself as the fourth biggest supermarket in the UK in recent years behind Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, and compared to the Christmas period in 2005 this year’s sales are higher by 47 per cent.
This year it plans to trial the convenience store format in several locations, helping it make up more ground on its competitors.
In today’s trading statement the management of Morrisons claimed to be confident of expanding its customer base despite tough economic conditions.