A 7 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to May 4 would sound impressive under any circumstances but, in the present climate, this really is a strong performance.
That said, there are some things that the Bradford-based supermarket group could do better and one of them is layout.
Although it looks anachronistic, the row of shops-within-shops that characterise Morrisons’ take on selling food can't be argued with – presumably it must work, otherwise it wouldn't be there, one supposes.
However, the format does appear a little tired and in need of some of the capital expenditure to bring it up to date. Whatever the figures may say, the stores still look out of place in the southern part of the UK and when placed side-by-side with supermarkets such as Sainsbury's or Waitrose, they even appear a mite lacklustre.
Follow the well-worn track around any of the supermarket’s stores and there are the usual end of aisle offers, or “Reasons to shop at Morrisons”, as the advertising would have it. There is not much margin for the retailer in this merchandise and it would therefore make sense to ensure that it does not block shoppers' progress towards those products that are likely to yield profit.
So why does Morrisons insist on putting cheap teacakes, for instance, pretty much en route to the fine wine and beer department at the back of its store in Sutton? Drinks, especially own-brand, is one of those categories where retailers make money, so every effort should be made to ensure that nothing, absolutely nothing, gets in the way of those looking to treat themselves at the end of a gruelling day with a distress purchase.
And this is where rivals such as Waitrose really score. When it reopened its Marylebone High Street shop last year, aside from the non-linear approach, what was remarkable about the store layout was the location of what is sometimes called booze alley, in the middle of the shop. In this instance, Waitrose appears to have realised where the main chance to maximise margin lies and acted accordingly.
Like Morrisons, Waitrose has a series of shop-in-shops at its Marylebone High Street store, but they do not look like a poor man's version of a mythical high street of yesteryear. Instead, they are modern and slick. Yes, they are about service, but they are also contemporary and this is where Morrions still has much work to do. Without doubt, Morrisons has done well lately, but from a much lower base than its larger competitors.
There is still quite a lot to be done.