// Morrisons Q1 sales rise 5.7% during the 14-week period from February 3 to May 10
// Sales rise was offset by the difficult Easter period
Morrisons has seen its sales rise during the first quarter despite a worse than expected Easter period thanks to the coronavirus lockdown.
The Big 4 grocer said like for like sales excluding fuel were up 5.7 per cent – with retail sales up 5.1 per cent and wholesale 0.6 per cent during the 14-week period from February 3 to May 10.
Retail like-for-like sales were up five per cent for the first six weeks of the year, with weeks five to seven being marked by “considerable stocking up” which increased sales.
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Between weeks 12 and 14 of the period, retail like-for-like sales were up 9.6 per cent.
However, the sales rise has been offset somewhat by Easter being affected by the lockdown with sales “significantly down year on year”.
This resulted in a negative retail sales contribution like-for-like in weeks eight to eleven of the period.
Morrisons said in recent weeks that its normal trading hours have resumed, and it has installed perpex screens to ensure safety at checkouts.
Meanwhile, its online operations are “expanding significantly and at pace” during the ongoing lockdown.
The retailer said it had more than doubled the number of weekly home delivery slots since the lockdown began.
It also offered a click-and-collect pick up service from stores and aims to make this available in 280 stores by mid-June.
“We are facing into the unprecedented current challenges and are playing our full part to help feed the nation: working with determination, creativity and pace to serve customers as well as we possibly can,” Morrisons chief executive David Potts said.
“The professionalism, enthusiasm and resourcefulness of our frontline key worker colleagues is extraordinary and is showing Morrisons at its very best.
“I’d like to thank every single colleague: you are Morrisons most important and most valued assets and are making a vital difference to so many people and communities across Britain.”