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Morrisons pins blame for 2.4% sales decline on online absence

The UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain has blamed a 2.4 per cent fall in its like-for-like sales in the three months to November on the absence of an online presence.

Morrisons apportioned further blame to its lack of a network of small convenience stores, another sector which has proven increasingly popular with shoppers in recent years.

To rectify these failings Morrisons has plans to belatedly launch an online delivery service in Warwickshire from January, before subsequently rolling out to other regions to serve half the country by the end of 2014.

The chain also has plans to open an additional 100 M local stores in the 2014-15 financial year to bring its total estate to 169.

Online grocery sales are currently growing by around 16 per cent a year with the convenience store sector growing at 20 per cent.

In a statement Morrisons said: "Consumer confidence remains subdued and we continue to see heavy promotional activity across the industry.

"As previously indicated, our low exposure to the sector's key growth areas of convenience and online continues to impact the sales performance of the group."

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