Morrisons' sales jump as it wins over shoppers from larger rivals

Morrisons, Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain, trounced its rivals yesterday as it reported booming sales and claimed it was winning over bargain-hunting shoppers from rival stores such as Tesco.

The Bradford-based company said its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, were up 8.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to 2 November, compared with the third quarter last year. The results beat City forecasts and overshadowed the 2 per cent growth reported by the market leader, Tesco, earlier this week.

Morrisons' chief executive, Marc Bolland, said: "Overall, this is a very strong performance, achieved in a tough economic environment and encouragingly we are continuing to do particularly well in London and the South, and in Scotland too."

The retailer, which struggled after it acquired Safeway in 2004, has re-launched cheaper lines, slashed prices and launched promotions, including a Sunday lunch for four for £4, which it said attracted 250,000 shoppers. It is also benefiting from a television advertising campaign featuring such celebrities as the Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, Denise Van Outen and the football pundit Alan Hansen.

Mr Bolland said more than half of its sales growth had resulted from new customers. The rest came from existing Morrisons shoppers spending more, as well as food price inflation – which is now falling. "People are not only coming to us – they are also staying," said Mr Bolland. He said 700,000 new shoppers were using Morrisons every week, compared to the 300,000 that Tesco claimed on Tuesday.

The figures are the latest evidence that value-for-money supermarkets have been winning over shoppers from more expensive chains such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. The other big winners are Aldi, Lidl and Asda.

Mr Bolland said that while Morrisons' value lines were key to its sales growth, the popularity of its fresh produce and premium own-brand items was also soaring. "People come to us for value but also come to us for fresh," said the Dutchman, who was appointed in 2006.

Morrisons has relaunched several ranges, such as its Meal Deals, which are proving popular. Mr Bolland said: "Our £4 Sunday lunch for four, which was enjoyed by 250,000 customers, was the best family deal in the market. Our Indian Meal Deal for £6 resulted in 230,000 customers choosing to eat at home with Morrisons in preference to a take-away or eating out."

Earlier this week, Tesco denied it was losing market share to Morrisons, but yesterday's figures and recent data from market analyst TNS Worldpanel suggests that Britain's biggest grocery chain is being hurt by Morrisons, Asda and Aldi.

Sainsbury's has reported that its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose by 4.3 per cent in the third quarter, while Asda posted a sales increase of 6.9 per cent over the same period. Yesterday, Asda said it had also enjoyed strong sales in November.

Morrisons revealed it had agreed to buy 38 former Somerfield and Co-operative Food stores for £223.1m, and said the transaction would enhance its earnings in the 2010-11 financial year. As a result of this and other investments, such as a new distribution centre in Kent, it is pausing its shares buy-back programme for the rest of this financial year.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering