Morrisons reports fourth consecutive quarter of sales growth

Supermarket chain bolstered by Halloween, price cuts and new premium range.

A strong Halloween, price cuts and a new premium range have helped Morrisons notch up its fourth consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth.

The Bradford-based supermarket chain continues its recovery, reporting a rise of 1.6% in like-for-like sales excluding fuel for the 13 weeks to 30 October.

Like-for-like sales have been growing for a year. Morrisons cut its prices by 1% overall during the quarter – and introduced “The Best” premium range with hundreds of products. It plans to launch more The Best products in the run-up to Christmas.

The supermarket group decided to offer more Halloween products after listening to customers. This year’s Halloween was its biggest ever, with sales up 20% year on year.

Total sales excluding fuel fell 1.2% during the third quarter, reflecting the impact of supermarket closures and the sale of 140 M local convenience stores last year.

The Morrisons chief executive, David Potts, said: “There is a lot more we plan to do. We will keep investing in becoming more competitive and improving the shopping trip, and I am confident we will serve our customers even better during the important trading period ahead.”

The price cuts may not continue. Morrisons recently became the first supermarket to hike the price of Marmite, by 12.5%, along with other Unilever goods, after the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company raised its prices by an average of 10% on a wide range of products.

Unilever, one of the biggest suppliers to British supermarkets, blamed the slide in sterling since the referendum. This revived fears about food price rises as a result of the Brexit vote.