Morrisons is to axe 100 jobs in Yorkshire in a bid to drive down costs as it battles a sharp slump in sales.
The Bradford-based firm said disappointing Easter sales added to its woes as shoppers deserted its stores in favour of cheaper prices at discount rivals Aldi and Lidl.
Poor trading over the period led to an unprecedented 7.1 per cent slump in underlying sales in the 13 weeks to May 4.
Morrisons’ chief executive, Dalton Philips, said: “We were disappointed. It wasn’t a strong Easter for us.”
Market researcher Kantar said Aldi’s sales grew 36 per cent in the 12 weeks to April 27, taking its market share to a record 4.7 per cent. Lidl’s sales rose 21 per cent, giving it a record 3.5 per cent share. Morrisons sales fell 3.6 per cent and Tesco’s were down 2.4 per cent.
In a separate announcement, Morrisons said 100 roles will be axed at its Wakefield distribution centre in a bid to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
The site employs 1,700 workers and a spokesman said it hopes to move as many staff into other jobs as possible.
Last week Morrisons announced it will cut the price of 1,200 products by up to 60 per cent. It hopes this will encourage shoppers to spend more in store although it warned that underlying sales are unlikely to improve any time soon.
The news follows scathing comments about the current management by former property director Roger Owen, who likened the retailer to a “supertanker heading towards an iceberg”.