Morrisons sales squeeze continues

Supermarket Morrisons revealed a further slide in sales today as its bigger rivals stepped up the pressure with money-off coupons and special offers.

The UK’s fourth biggest grocery chain reported a 2.1% drop in third quarter like-for-like sales, excluding VAT and fuel, and warned the market was set to remain challenging.

Morrisons has been left trailing as competitors wage war through promotional deals, with its third quarter performance marking a deterioration on the 0.9% sales fall seen in the first half of the financial year.

Morrisons said: “With consumer confidence still fragile and high levels of promotional activity a persistent feature of the market, the trading environment has remained challenging through the period and sales were lower than anticipated.”

It added full-year figures were expected to be “broadly” in line with its expectations.

In another blow, the group also announced the departure of commercial director Richard Hodgson, who was one of the first key hires made by chief executive Dalton Philips after he took over at the group in 2010.

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