Morrisons has reported a 2.6% fall in like-for-like sales in the third quarter. Total sales, excluding fuel, were down 2.0% in the 13 weeks to 1 November 2015.
David Potts, chief executive, said: “The business is moving at pace on the long journey towards improving the shopping trip for customers. Our priorities for the rest of the year are unchanged – to stabilise trading, reduce costs and further improve the capability of the leadership team. We are making good progress in many areas and customers are noticing improvements.”
Bryan Roberts, senior vice-president & knowledge officer, EMEA, at Kantar Retail, said: “Morrisons has made some decisive and difficult moves under David Potts, most notably ending its flawed convenience misadventure; closing several underperforming supermarkets; scaling back the Match & More loyalty programme to remove the margin dilutive discounter price-matching; and dialling down some of the merchandising and ranging excesses inherited from the previous regime.
“With a leaner range and sharper promotional structure, Morrisons is stabilising its core business, although a lot will rest on how these improvements are communicated to shoppers. The business has a strong narrative to share on fresh, quality, value, service and provenance – now is the time to trumpet this differentiation. Early signs regarding the chain’s Christmas advertising are encouraging in this regard.”