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Morrisons reported that third-quarter sales were affected by 2.4% because of the cut backs on promotional vouchers.

Like-for-like sales, which excludes fuel, fell by 2.6% in the 13 weeks to 1 November but like-for-like sales online rose by 1% in the third quarter.

Morrisons is the fourth largest supermarket, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda in front of them but discounted supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl are creeping up behind them.

As there has been so much competition between the big supermarkets more recently, price wars have been initiated to try to make sure customers do not start shopping elsewhere instead.

The supermarket did report a 52% drop in annual profits to £345 million in March, which was its worst result in eight years so any drop in sales at Morrisons is bad news.

Morrisons is trying to turn it around and in September reported that it would sell 140 “M” local convenience stores in a £25 million deal. This was because many of the convenience stores did not make enough profits and this resulted in the closure of 11 “M” stores.

Christmas is not that far away and on Friday the company will launch its Christmas marketing campaign, which includes using staff to promote their festivities opposed to celebrities Ant and Dec.

The discounters rise again as Aldi UK will launch online sales next year because it announced record annual sales in 2014.

Aldi is currently the UK’s sixth largest supermarket in terms of market share but that could be about to change when it starts selling wine online and non-food offers in the spring.

The German discounter stated that sales rose 31% to £6.9 billion in the 12 months to 31st December, which is way ahead of last year’s figure of £5.27 billion. Aldi plans to open 65 new stores this year and already has 598 stores in the UK.

Despite the good news for the supermarket, operating profits did fall to £260.3 million from £271.4 million.

Customers will also benefit from having a home delivery option and collection from third party locations.

Aldi is slowly climbing up the market and this could be another breakthrough for the discounted supermarkets as they are gradually providing the services that the big four already do.

 

Nine hundred jobs are at risk because the supermarket chain Morrisons made the decision to close 11 stores in effort to transform the company’s fortunes.

David Potts, who started working as the chief executive in March, stated that it is with regret that stores may close. However, the chief executive also stated that the closures mainly involve the smaller-sized supermarkets. The locations of these have not been revealed due to staff still being informed.

As well as this news, the business reported a 47% drop in half yearly profits before tax of £126 million.

Morrisons will sell 140 loss-making “M” local convenience stores however, this will be rebranded as “My Local” and the staff will be kept on with some 200 jobs to be created.

The big four supermarkets are under a lot of pressure because of rival discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl gaining more customers.

The changes that Morrisons are making could either help in making sure that the remaining stores are improved and make more profit, or it could go in the opposite direction.

The future of supermarkets is still unknown as all companies are attempting to get the best deals in for their customers. The problem is that the discounters are on the rise and many customers go there for their weekly shop and only go to one of the big four supermarkets for particular products.

The UK’s fourth largest supermarket Morrisons is cutting its prices of 200 items by up to a third. The firm has said that many everyday products will be cut in price and this is an attempt to fight the battle between the big four supermarkets and discounter stores such as Aldi and Lidl.

Aldi and Lidl has become a main supermarket for many and Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda are paying the price for not only the rise of these discounted supermarkets, but also the rise of online shopping. Morrisons has been hit particularly hard and plans to cut the price of four pints of semi-skimmed milk by 11%, pricing it at 89p whilst also lowering the price of some bread brands by around 21%.

2014 was a bad year for Morrisons as its profits halved, which meant that this was their lowest level for eight years. Despite this, the supermarket said it would commit a billion pounds over the next three years to lowering prices, which should make consumers happy. This was a move that rival firm Asda also made, as it committed £300 million to lowering prices in the first three months of the year. Not only this, but Sainsbury’s continues to invest £150 million to reduce the cost of 1,000 products and Tesco is dropping prices on 2,500 products as well.

Compared with 2014, a typical basket of day-to-day items is now 2.1% cheaper and all the major retailers offer cheaper like-for-like goods, according to analyst Kantar Worldpanel.

Although the big four supermarkets are doing all that they can to stay in power and compete in an ever-growing market, Aldi and Lidl are gradually gaining more of the market share. Lidl has captured 3.9% of the market share, which is a new record high for the company and Aldi has increased its share to 5.4%, according to Kantar figures up to 24th May.

Tesco is expanding a scheme that gives their unsold food to charities from warehouses. Tesco is the UK’s biggest grocer and although it has not had the best of news lately, this is something that makes the supermarket stand out.

Any leftover food will be available to local charities through the UK food redistribution charity Fare Share. The food will come from 10 of Tesco’s UK stores. A lot of food was wasted last year, Tesco claimed, when those who need it could have eaten it. 55,400 tonnes of food was thrown away, 30,000 tonnes of which could have been eaten.

Since 2012, Tesco has been working with Fare Share to donate surplus food. The majority of the wastage comes from bakery items, fruit and vegetables, and convenience items such as sandwiches and salads. These foods are fresh and so it seems likely that there will be some that goes to waste.

Tesco is currently testing an app with the UK food redistribution charity Fare Share and Republic of Ireland social enterprise Food Cloud. The app allows store managers to let charities know the amount of surplus food available to them at the end of each day.

Beneficiaries will include homeless hostels, women’s refuges and children’s clubs.

In April, Tesco had the worst results in its history and ended up with a record statutory pre-tax of £6.4 billion for the year to the end of February. This compares with the year before, when it had an annual pre-tax profit of £2.26 billion.

Tesco has revealed a pre-tax loss of £6.4 billion for the year to the end of February, one of the largest in UK corporate history.

In the previous year, the supermarket giant made an annual pre-tax profit of £2.26 billion but the losses seem to be a big challenge for Tesco, giving them the worst results in its history.

About £4.7 billion of the losses that were made were the result of the fall in property value of the UK stores, with 43 of those said to close earlier this month. The decrease in value of Tesco’s property portfolio was because of the declining footfall in many of the out of town superstores.loss

This year has proven difficult for Tesco who are still being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) because it overstated its half-year profit prediction in August by £263 million.

Compared with £3.3 billion the year before, annual group trading profit was down by 60% at £1.4 billion. This counts any sales through the supermarket’s tills.

Excluding fuel, UK like-for-like sales declined by 3.6% in the year and the company said the disappointing performance of its European stores is due to other competition. Stores in Ireland faced the biggest sales fall of 6.3% in the year.

Sales also fell in South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. Tesco said trading profit in Asia was £565 million but once currency fluctuations were stripped out, this resulted in a 15.3% lower result than a year earlier because of the falling sales in other countries.

The only positive reaction to this was from investors who celebrated Tesco’s share price, which rose by more than 1% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange to 237.8p, however it will probably be a rollercoaster day for the company as the news sinks in.

Also See: Which? Takes action on supermarket promotions

Also See: Supermarket Sweep: The rise of the discounters