Morrisons makes 'solid start' to first quarter

May 10, 2013, 10:21 AM GMT+0

Morrisons has reported a “solid start” to the first quarter of its financial year, despite a slight decline in like-for-like sales.

Although like-for-like sales (which exclude the effects of new store openings) fell by 1.8% in the 13 weeks to 5 May, Morrisons reported a moderate increase in total sales of 0.6%.

The ‘Big 4’ supermarket chain acknowledged that it had benefitted from making the most of coming out clean in the horsemeat scandal, and has tried to capitalise on this by launching a new campaign. Its ‘More of What Matters’ campaign, has tried to clearly communicate to consumers the benefits of Morrisons’ unique vertically integrated supply chain, which allows the company to tell its customers exactly where their food is coming from.

Chief executive Dalton Philips said that consumers “now understand that Morrisons is best placed to sell food that is what it says it is”.

As well as analysing Morrisons’ financial performance, using YouGov’s brand perception tool, BrandIndex, we can also monitor Morrisons’ performance amongst consumers for the 13 weeks to 5 May.

If we start at the broadest level – the UK-wide index score (a composite of six key image attributes) we can see that Morrisons had a pretty strong score of 23.4 on 3 February. This had risen by 3.5 points to 26.9 as of 5 May. To put this into context, Tesco had an Index score of 16.6 on 3 February, which had fallen by 3.6 points to 13 as of 5 May.

Therefore we can see that Morrisons has clearly performed well amongst consumers for this period.

Morrisons also did extremely well during this period on Buzz, which is an overall measure of whether people have heard anything positive or negative about the brand through the media, advertising or word of mouth.

On 3 February Morrisons had a Buzz score of 5.5, which rose 8.8 points to 14.3 on 5 May. This indicates that Morrisons has benefitted from not becoming implicated in the horsemeat scandal and subsequently communicating the benefits of its unique supply chain to consumers.

Following a poor final quarter, Morrisons has clearly made a solid start to the first quarter of the current financial year. Our analysis indicates that it is performing strongly for overall consumer perception and Buzz, which should provide the supermarket chain with a solid foundation for continued progress in the coming weeks and months.

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