Strong demand for luxury Christmas favourites helped to drive an 8.5% rise in sales at Morrisons over the festive period, as the chain kicked off reporting on what is expected to be a bumper trading period for supermarkets.
Morrisons said online sales had tripled and growth was boosted by strong demand for festive favourites such as champagne and salmon as families made the most of the quieter festivities.
Sales in Morrisons established stores rose 7.3% in the nine weeks to 3 January but that was boosted by a 1.2% rise in wholesale sales via the retailer’s deal with Amazon and to supply convenience stores.
David Potts, the chief executive, said: “The pandemic has had a severe effect on people and communities around Britain for nine months now but it has been especially hard at Christmas time.
“I’m very pleased with the way the Morrisons team has helped our customers across the nation enjoy their Christmas in the best way they could.”
Morrisons said customer shopping patterns were different this year, as Covid restrictions prevented larger gatherings of friends and family. Champagne sales were up 64% compared with last year, while sales of whole salmon rose 40%.
The chain said that despite the “extremely unpredictable current circumstances” it still expected profit for the current year to be in line with expectations.