Morrisons has unveiled an increase in Christmas sales thanks to stronger growth in its wholesale arm, despite a slowdown in retail shopping.
Like-for-like sales in the nine weeks to January 6 were 3.6% higher.
This comprised a 0.6% contribution from retail, marking a slowdown on the 2.1% growth seen in the comparable period last year.
But this was offset by a 3% contribution from the wholesale division, which includes tie-ups with McColl’s and Amazon. Last year this was just 0.7%.
The number of items per basket rose by 0.8%, versus a 4.4% drop in the comparable period last year.
However the number of transactions fell by 0.9%, reversing the upward trend of last year which saw a 2.3% rise.
The supermarket’s boss, David Potts, praised staff as customer satisfaction ratings improved, particularly in the colleague friendliness and checkout experience categories.
“This is Morrisons’ fourth consecutive Christmas of like-for-like sales growth during the turnaround. Our performance shows colleagues are listening hard and responding to customers, providing consistently great value and good quality when it matters most,” he said.
“I would once again like to thank the whole Morrisons team for what they continue to do for our customers.
“Morrisons is well set to keep improving the shopping trip and become more and more relevant for more customers.”
Morrisons has joined peers this week in slashing prices on several items as retailers compete with discounters Aldi and Lidl.
On Monday, shops cut the prices of 935 products by an average of 20% in a bid to attract budget-conscious post-Christmas shoppers.
Meanwhile, Tesco has launched a range of deals to celebrate its centenary year, slashing prices on household staples.