Swift adoption of new channel opportunities leaves Morrisons in good stead for 2021

Following today’s release of Morrisons figures for Q3 and Christmas Trading FY2020/21;

Thomas Brereton, Senior Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

Morrisons has announced strong – albeit expected – Q3 (13 weeks to 1 November) and Christmas results, with results improving in tandem with tougher restrictions across the UK from November onwards, culminating in +9.3% l-f-l sales for the three weeks to 3rd January.

Morrisons’ success over the period is largely driven by its expanding online offer, a portfolio that now includes ‘Morrisons on Amazon’, a strong partnership with Deliveroo and innovative propositions such as its food boxes. As a result, Morrisons claims that online sales have more than tripled in recent Q4 trading, a growth figure that will be hard for rivals to match. While analysis must bear in mind that, pre-COVID-19, Morrisons had a smaller online operation than its competitors (and thus easier to achieve higher growth), it has embraced the shift in consumer spend from offline to online as well as any of the major players. This has clearly not come at the expense of store development however, opening three stores during the period (bringing the total to six for the year) and cleverly adapting tired McColl’s stores into fresher Morrisons Daily fascias (31 in total, with conversions likely to continue apace in 2021).

“As the saga of COVID-19 rolls on, alongside dealing with the impact of a rushed Brexit deal, Morrisons must play to its strengths in 2021, particularly emphasising to customers the extent of its local produce sourcing compared to competitors while ensuring that it keeps prices as low as possible to keep pace with a newly value-driven Tesco and the discounters in the face of tough economic conditions.”

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