Morrisons has published its latest report on trading for the first quarter (Q1) – the 13 weeks ending 29th January 2023 – that details plans for “further significant price cutting programmes to help customers through the cost of living crisis.”

The retailer plans to progress a three-year £700 million cost savings programme to enable further investment in lowering prices, increasing service levels, investing in loyalty and expanding its convenience footprint. It is believed that the practical implications of the programme will involve simplifying routes taken by delivery drivers to make savings on fuel and to reduce the number of products that the retailer manufactures.

Plenty of work to do

Commenting on the Q1 results, chief executive officer, David Potts said: “We still have plenty of work to do, but momentum in the business is now building with an improving trajectory over the last three quarters and like-for-like sales now in positive territory. Our market share has stabilised, our inflation rate is below our peers, and Morrisons traditional competitiveness, colour and dynamism is steadily returning to every part of the business. 

“We have targeted £700 million of cost savings over the next three years.  This saving will help drive the performance of the business by enabling further investment in our loyalty programme, increasing the pace of McColl’s conversions, putting more hours into our stores, as well as mitigating the significant cost headwinds that we face.

“Although this has been another difficult period for consumers with inflation still at very high levels, we have continued with our programme of regular and meaningful price investments, enabled by a strong start to our cost savings programme.

“The cornerstone of the improving picture at Morrisons has been our colleagues. Across the whole business, they have continued to help our customers by providing a colourful, vibrant, fresh food focused shopping experience and I want to thank everyone at Morrisons for their continued hard work and positivity.”

Other Q1 key points

  • Total revenue up 3.4% to £4,713 million
  • Group like-for-like (LFL) sales ex-fuel/ex-VAT up 0.1%, reflecting steady improvement over the last three trading quarters
  • Continued investment and focus on My Morrisons loyalty scheme leading to greater customer engagement.