• Like-for-like sales rose 2.9%
  • Total sales were up 2%
  • The grocer’s online arm had its biggest ever week of sales during the period

Morrisons has reported soaring like-for-like sales during the festive period driven by its fresh food offer and premium ranges.

The supermarket giant recorded a 2.9% leap in like-for-like sales year-on-year in the nine weeks to January 1, the grocer’s strongest sales performance during the period for seven years.

Total sales were up 2% and like-for-like transaction growth ballooned 5.2% as shoppers stocked up on the grocer’s fresh food and wine, beer and spirits categories.

Morrisons also reported strong sales of its ‘Best’ premium food range, which was rolled out last autumn and had over 100 additional product lines added for the festive period, as well as its Nutmeg clothing lines.

The grocer’s online sales contributed 0.6% to its Christmas like-for-like sales and its ecommerce arm also recorded its biggest ever week of sales during the period.

The supermarket said the automated ordering system that rolled out across its store estate for its grocery lines in recent months drove efficiencies during the period, allowing the grocer to improve product availability while reducing stock levels.

Chief executive David Potts said: “This Christmas we made further improvements to the customer shopping trip.

“We stocked more of what our customers wanted to buy, more tills were open more often, and product availability improved as over half of sales went through our new ordering system.

“Eighteen months ago I said that this would be a colleague-led turnaround, and our improving performance is entirely due to the continuing hard work of the Morrisons team of food-makers and shopkeepers.”