Retail news round-up on November 24, 2015: Voiceover change at Morrisons' self-service tills and Tesco Ireland's half-year earnings.

Morrisons rolls out new self-service checkout voice for Christmas

Morrisons is updating its self-service checkouts across all stores with a new ‘cheery’ voiceover to ease the stress of customers during Christmas.

The supermarket retailer will play a new audio voice of actor Ben Whitehead at all its tills from the end of November.

The ‘Festive Fred’ checkout voice will tell customers not to "get their tinsel in a tangle" during the shopping rush.

The actor’s voice was selected because the grocer felt it contained elements of Brian Blessed, Terry Wogan, Miranda Hart and Keith Chegwin.

Morrisons' retail director Gary Mills said: “We know the Christmas shop can be stressful and we want our customers to leave our stores feeling festive. We hope Fred, along with everything else we do, puts a smile on our shoppers’ faces.”

Tesco Ireland’s half-yearly profit slumps by more than half

Like-for-like sales at Tesco Ireland fell 3.7% during the first six months ending August 29 despite generating revenues of €1.23bn.

The grocer reported 55% plunge in its first half profit due to a fierce supermarket price war.

Home deliveries in the country leapt by 30% compared to the first half of 2014.

Tesco Ireland chief executive Andrew Yaxley said, “Over the last six months our priority has been to simplify our business so that we can maximise our investment in price and service, and going forward simplification and managing operating costs will continue to be a priority so that we are able to invest in our customers.”