The challenge facing the UK‘s fourth biggest grocer Morrisons has deepened after it reported a 7.1 per cent like-for-like sales slump for the 13 weeks to 4 May.
The struggling grocer has been hurt by a lack of exposure to convenience markets as well as the rapidly growing online channel after it reported a £176m loss in 2013.
It slashed the prices on over 1,200 products such as cereal, juice, coca cola, bread and jammie dodgers on 1 May in a bid to relieve investor concerns that it would continue to rapidly lose market share to Lidl and Aldi.
Share price at Morrisons has fallen by a third in just one year.
The retail analyst Neil Saunders described the results as “woeful.” He said: “Morrisons is a clear loser and is ceding share not only to the deep discounters but also to other big four players. The company is not helped by the fact that its business model is misaligned with the growth spots in the market.”
Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury‘s have suffered market share decline for the 12 weeks ending 27 April. Morrisons were the heaviest hit and lost 3.6 per cent of its share.
The grocer has invested £300m into overhauling its IT systems and rolled out its website Morrisons.com in Yorkshire and Warwickshire in January and will make its first deliveries to London next Monday.
Morrisons was forced to apologise after it projected an outstretched baguette on the Angel of the North this week while it has been stung by a round of data breaches in which details of 100,000 employees from the shop floor to board level were sent to the Bradford based Telegraph and Argus.