Morrisons has announced a renewed focus on the convenience channel following disappointing annual results.
In its preliminary results for the year ending February 2013, the supermarket chain reported a 2.1% decrease in like-for-like sales compared to the previous year and a pre-tax profit fall of 4% to £901m from £935m in 2011/12. However, its turnover increased by 3% to £18.1bn.
Chief executive Dalton Philips attributed the decline to consumer spending habits but added that Morrisons would be building on its recent convenience acquisitions throughout the rest of 2013.
“The sustained pressure on consumer spending was reflected in our like-for-like sales performance which is not as good as it should have been,” he said. “We are ready to accelerate the development on our multi-channel presence and our convenience offering is gaining real momentum acquiring 60 new sites in recent weeks alone. We are therefore increasing our target for store openings in the coming year by 40% and now plan to have 100 stores trading by the end of the year.”
The chain currently has 12 M Local stores but recently acquired 49 Blockbusters sites, six HMV sites and seven former Jessops stores, following the administration of all three companies. It hopes to expand its presence in London and the South East to capitalise on the opening of its West London convenience distribution centre.