Third quarter sales have again fallen at Morrisons in the three months to 1 November. The troubled grocer reported on Thursday (5 November) a 2.6% fall in like-for-like sales in the quarter.
New chief executive David Potts is facing a big challenge with the supermarket. Morrisons is struggling with a competitive market and recently announced the closure of 11 stores, as well as the disposal of 140 convenience stores.
"The business is moving at pace on the long journey towards improving the shopping trip for customers," Potts said. "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."
Customers have raised concerns in the past about the Morrisons shopping experience, with in-store isle-filling and advertising gone wrong. For many of the UK's supermarkets, this is the only thing that sets them apart from German budget chains Aldi and Lidl, which are slowly taking over the market.
The grocer said it is expecting a better-than-expected debt reduction, but it did not mention a possible adjustment to its profit guidance. Before, it had already said it expects the second half of the 2015 financial year to be stronger in terms of performance than the first six months.
In September, Morrisons named the eleven unprofitable stores it would close. Below are the locations of the shops.
- West Bromwich (Hawthorns), West Midlands
- Salford, Greater Manchester
- Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset
- Castletown, Sunderland
- Clevedon, Somerset
- Little Hulton, Greater Manchester
- Northallerton, North Yorkshire
- Oldbury, West Midlands
- Shildon, County Durham
- Streatham, London
- Tyldesley, Wigan