Supermarket chain Morrisons has toasted a bumper set of results for the all-important Christmas trading period with like-for-like sales in the nine weeks to 1 January (excluding fuel) rising by 2.9%; the store's strongest performance in seven years.
Sales were given a fillip by Morrisons.com which racked up is biggest ever week of sales as well as its premium ‘Best’ range and a new automated ordering system which utilizes cloud technology and historic sales data to forecast stock requirements.
The performance validates a decision to hand their creative account to Publiciswhich aired its first spot for the grocer over the festive period and deliberately eschewed talking about pounds and pence to focus on brand values - differentiating its aisles as places where ‘special moments’ occur.
Morrisons chief executive David Potts commented: "This Christmas we made further improvements to the customer shopping trip. We stocked more of what our customers wanted to buy, more tills were open more often, and product availability improved as over half of sales went through our new ordering system. Both like-for-like and total sales grew, which was very encouraging.”
Following the positive start to the year Morrisons now expects underlying profits before tax in the year 2016/17 to come in ahead of forecasts at up to £340m.