Morrisons reports record Christmas sales

Morrisons has reported “record” Christmas sales as consumers traded down to save cash over the festive period, according to its chief executive Marc Bolland (pictured). The supermarket chain has reported a 8.2% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the six weeks of January 4.

Announcing the results this morning (January 22), Bolland says the supermarket’s “industry leading price crunching deals and promotional offers” attracted 2.2m extra customers over the period.

He added that Morrison’s benefited the most out of all supermarkets from more “affluent customers”, in particular in Scotland and London, trading down from “premium” supermarkets, due to its Market Street fresh food offering.

However, Bolland told analysts that the company spent 25% less on marketing over the Christmas period compared with last year, when it was promoting its newly launched fresh produce range.

The retailer says full-year profit levels for 2008-09 “remain in line with previous board expectations despite the difficult economic environment” and anticipation that the “market would remain challenging” in the face of a slowdown in consumer spending.”

Bolland says he expects the supermarket’s “value credentials” will continue to attract consumers during the downturn.

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