How Morrisons' 'goldilocks' store estate is boosting the supermarket giant's performance

MORRISONS is receiving a boost from the performance of its store estate and strong leadership, according to a leading retail analyst.

Fraser McKevitt said Morrisons’ performance was being helped by its “goldilocks” store estate, which was “not too large and not too small”.
Fraser McKevitt said Morrisons’ performance was being helped by its “goldilocks” store estate, which was “not too large and not too small”.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, made the comments after new data revealed that December was the busiest month on record for British supermarkets, with shoppers spending £11.7bn on take-home groceries during the past four weeks.

“Morrisons are having a good run and David Potts (the CEO) has done a good job of turning the business around,” said Mr McKevitt.

He said Morrisons’ performance was being helped by its “goldilocks” store estate, which was “not too large and not too small”.

Online grocery sales accounted for 12.6 per cent of total spend in December, compared with 7.4 per cent in 2019, and Ocado ended the year as the country’s fastest growing retailer, according to Kantar.

Tesco sales rose by 11.1 per cent this period, driven by the continued success of its premium Tesco Finest brand, which found its way into more than a quarter of shopping baskets during the 12 weeks.

Meanwhile, sales at Sainsbury’s increased by 10.7 per cent year on year and at Asda by 7.8 per cent, with shares standing at 15.9 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively.

Sales at Morrisons increased by 13.1 per cent compared with the same time last year as its market share moved up by 0.1 percentage points to 10.4 per cent, its highest level since June 2019, according to Kantar.

Mr McKevitt expects to see elevated growth rates in the sector in January and the first quarter. He said more people would be working from home and there will be a huge increase in children not in school, who would require extra meals.

Mr McKevitt said the supermarkets had also put a lot of effort into stocking products to tie in with ‘Veganuary’. However, some analysts believe people may place their healthy eating plans on hold during the lockdown.