Celebrities and price cuts lure shoppers to Morrisons

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The Independent Online

Morrisons' store revamp and high-profile advertising campaign starring the Sixties singer Lulu has boosted sales at the super-market, which reported an acceleration of sales growth in the third quarter yest-erday.

Providing further evidence of its turnaround, the retailer posted a 3.7 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the 14 weeks to 4 November, ahead of the 3 per cent seen in the first seven weeks.

The ad campaign, which also features Denise van Outen and emphasises the company's commitment to sell fresh fish and British pork and lamb, has proved popular with customers, who have also been attracted by price cuts on 7,500 products, despite soaring inflation.

Morrisons, the UK's fourth biggest supermarket chain, had struggled since its acquisition of Safeway in 2004, but chief executive Marc Bolland is leading a turnaround of the business under a three-year plan announced in March. This includes a rebranding of the company's yellow and black "M" logo and a revamp of the retailer's "market street" area. Mr Bolland said the company was on track to deliver its vision of being "the food specialist for everyone".

Shares in the group surged ahead yesterday with a gain of 8 per cent.