Supermarket has extended its streak of improved figures every quarter

Morrisons has reported its strongest quarterly like-for-like sales growth for three years, marking seven straight quarters of improvement.

Morrisons had a good first quarter

Morrisons had a good first quarter

In a first-quarter trading update, for the 13 weeks to January 28, the supermarket group said like-for-like sales excluding fuel and VAT were up by 4.6 per cent, compared to 0.1 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Key initiatives so far this year have included introducing an Aldi and Lidl Price Match in February, and improving key customer satisfaction metrics, with complaints more than halved in the past 20 weeks.

McColl’s conversion programme has also neared completion, with over 910 of the symbol group’s former stores now converted to the Morrisons Daily format.

Chief executive Rami Baitiéh said: “In January I outlined our plan to reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen Morrisons as we started our next chapter. Those plans are now in full swing with the whole business engaged in the three key pillars of work that will be the foundation of the future for Morrisons: commercial excellence, operations optimisation and new value creation.

“Across the business we have identified many areas where we can raise our game and make small improvements which collectively will result in a significantly enhanced shopping experience for our customers. Availability, waste, newness, innovation, speed and accuracy are all on an improving trend and our customers are beginning to notice. Our key customer metrics are improving and complaints - which in many ways are the canaries in the retail coalmine - are down almost 60 per cent in the last 20 weeks.

“For longer-term and sustainable growth, we have developed new plans for growth in wholesale, convenience, franchise, export markets and global sourcing and we are now moving quickly to implement them. In our franchise business, for example, we have built a new team specifically to accelerate new customer acquisition and recently we have opened, on average, three franchise convenience stores a week and we intend to open many more in the coming months.”