Morrisons have announced that they are to close seven more stores. The announcement comes despite a 0.2% increase in sales over the Christmas period. This sales increase was unexpected as budget German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl were expected to dominate Christmas supermarket sales. As a result of the better than expected sales, shares have rocketed with a 12% increase.
Huge increases in sales resulted from the online sales of the supermarket giant over the Christmas period. However, CEO David Potts said that the role of online sales was reducing in importance and that Christmas performance is all about the stores. The reason cited for the closure of the seven stores was poor performance and poor sales in those areas. Furthermore, the supermarket giant could not envisage any measures that could possibly improve performance in those stores. The move is likely to see around 700 staff members lose their jobs. This is the latest in store closures for Morrisons as 21 supermarkets were shut last year and 140 convenience stores sold. Potts has been quoted recently saying he plans to cut prices even further across Morrisons’ stores in order to compete with the German budget supermarkets, which have established a strong hold across the UK in the past year. Despite these closures, he believes the future remains bright for Morrisons within the UK.