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More "posh nosh" and alcohol sales puts Morrisons at the top of the Big Four

Published:  10 January, 2017

Morrisons found its groove this Christmas, with alcohol and expansions to its new Best range helping to achieve its strongest like for like sales in seven years. 

The supermarket was the strongest of the Big Four this Christmas, with 3.4% year-on-year growth in sales, edging ahead of Tesco (2.7%).

In its trading statement released this morning, the supermarket's like for like sales excluding fuel in the nine weeks to January 1 were up 2.9% marking the strongest performance in some time. 

Total sales were also up 2% excluding fuel, despite the continuing impact of store closures.

Efforts to "improve the offer" saw results, with beers, wines and spirits, the Best range and fruit amid veg as well as the Nutmeg clothing line all performing well.'s Martin Lane puts this down to Morrions' successful Best range which was introduced in the autumn with 470 products; and another 100 were added specifically for the festive period.

"Morrisons have truly rediscovered what Christmas consumers want - posh nosh at bargain prices. By increasing their line of luxury goods, the retailer was rewarded with trolleys through the doors and the sound of tills ringing throughout the festive season.

"Morrisons' brand is perceived as a funny hybrid as far as supermarkets go in the public eye. They aren't cheap as chips like Aldi and Lidl but they certainly aren't a luxury brand like Waitrose or M&S either. The good news is this Christmas they struck the perfect balance, and their competitors should take a leaf out of their book," he said.

David Cheetham, market analyst at added: "As well as reporting better than expected figures, Morrisons also revised higher its annual profit projection which is now forecast to come in at £330-340M - above the £326M consensus estimate amongst analysts.

"After some testing times in previous years, 2016 was a good one for investors in Morrisons with the share price rising by more than 50%. This latest set of results will only serve to add to the growing level of optimism around this stock which is now clearly trending higher and seeking to get back close to its record highs around 300p."