Supermarket Morrisons has revealed a 5% rise in like for like sales in the first quarter of 2020/2021, according to its latest trading update.
Despite “significant improvement” in recent weeks, the retailer said the first quarter had been “highly volatile” during the lockdown, with sales increasing during the initial panic buying stage of the crisis, but it was hit by the lockdown and weak Easter trading.
In the 14-week period from 3rd February to 10th May, Group like for like sales excluding fuel were up 5.7%, comprising contributions from retail of 5.1% and wholesale of 0.6%.
“We are facing into the unprecedented current challenges and are playing our full part to help feed the nation: working with determination, creativity and pace to serve customers as well as we possibly can.”
Morrisons has since announced its employees will receive a 6% annual bonus for all frontline colleagues, up threefold on last year.
It has also created a hardship fund to support colleagues in financial difficulty due to the crisis as well as donating £10m of food to Morrisons Community Champions to help re-stock Britain’s food banks.
While the retailer said the impact of coronavirus remains uncertain, it said it is confident of coping with the increased demand from a rise in eat-at-home habits. Morrisons also estimates that any costs relating to the Covid-19 pandemic will be offset by the Government’s business rates holiday scheme.
David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We are facing into the unprecedented current challenges and are playing our full part to help feed the nation: working with determination, creativity and pace to serve customers as well as we possibly can.
“The professionalism, enthusiasm and resourcefulness of our frontline key worker colleagues is extraordinary and is showing Morrisons at its very best. I’d like to thank every single colleague: you are Morrisons most important and most valued assets and are making a vital difference to so many people and communities across Britain.”