Morrisons has experienced a 2.8% drop in like for like sales over the 22 weeks to January 5th, latest figures have shown.

Group like for like sales fell by 1.7% over the 22 week period, a figure which rises to 2.8% when including fuel.

Despite a promising start to the financial year for the supermarket, this is the third consecutive drop as like for like sales including fuel dropped by 2.2% in the second quarter and a further 2.5% in the third quarter.

These figures come after supermarkets across the board witnessed the slowest rate of growth over the Christmas period since 2015.

In a statement released by the retailer, Morrisons attributed the slump to ‘challenging trading conditions’ and ‘continued uncertainty amongst customers’.

Across 2019, Morrisons opened four new stores, including two replacements, despite closing down another four nationwide. It also announced 25 ‘fresh look’ stores to bring the total of new stores in 2019 to 44. A new store will also be added to its Camden site, which was sold to the Berkley group last year for £120 million.

David Potts, chief executive, said: “It was encouraging that during an unusually challenging period for sales, our execution was strong and our profitability robust, demonstrating the broad-based progress we have made during the turnaround. This was again down to the hard work of Morrisons exceptional team of food makers and shopkeepers.”

Potts continued: “As always, we will take some learnings into the new year, and look forward to 2020 with a strong plan and solid foundations on which to continue to grow.”