Commercial director leaves as Morrison’s sales fall

Supermarket group Morrison’s has said that its business is making “good progress”, despite a fall in like-for-like sales of 2.1%, worse than analysts had predicted and leading to the immediate departure of its commercial director Richard Hodgson.

The company said that in the 13 weeks to October 28th, total sales fell 0.4% with consumer confidence still “fragile” and high levels of promotional activity a persistent feature of the market, Morrison’s added that the trading environment “remained challenging through the period” and admitted that sales were lower than anticipated.

However, Morrison’s announced that the business was “making good progress in delivering the strategic initiatives which will provide a solid foundation for our future growth”.

The company added: “During the period we have introduced our market leading Fresh Format into a further 35 stores and are on track to meet our target of extending this to 100 stores by the end of this fiscal year.”

Martyn Jones, corporate services director, has been appointed interim commercial director pending the recruitment of a successor for Mr Hodgson who joined from Waitrose two years ago.

Morrisons’s expects to meet its financial expectations for the full year.

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