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Morrisons blames online absence for sales dip

Morrisons blames online absence for sales dip

One of the UK’s biggest supermarkets has pinned a recent fall in its like-for-like sales figures on shortcomings in the online arena.

Morrisons, which is behind competitors Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda in terms of size, said recently that its lack of a presence online was the reason behind its 2.4 per cent drop in sales from August through October, compared to figures from the same period in 2012.

Additionally, the supermarket blamed its relatively small convenience store network. The smaller branches run by Tesco and Sainsbury’s in particular have increased in popularity as more and more Britons shop with speed in mind.

In a bid to address its failings, Morrisons has revealed plans to introduce an online delivery service, starting in Warwickshire in January and rolling out to other areas in the country before 2015.

The chain is planning to set up another 100 convenience stores, branded ‘M local’, over the next 18 months, which would bring the total to 169.

The online grocery sector is growing, on average, by 16% every year, while the convenience store sector expands by around 20%.

Speaking about the results, a spokesperson for Morrisons said:

“Consumer confidence remains subdued and we continue to see heavy promotional activity across the industry.

“As previously indicated, our low exposure to the sector’s key growth areas of convenience and online continues to impact the sales performance of the group.”

As e-commerce grows and the use of smartphones and tablets for buying perishable goods becomes a part of everyday life, it pays for brands to ensure they have a competitive website marketing strategy in place. For SMEs, this could be anything from comprehensive SEO campaigns to strong presences on the top social media platforms.

Richard Bell

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