Tesco’s and Morrisons’ forecourts helped to depress the latest results announced by the two supermarket giants.
Reporting on sales for the six weeks to 4 January Tesco said total sales in the UK including VAT and “petrol” declined by 1.5% compared with the same period last year. However, stripping out “petrol” the decline was less severe at 0.6%. On a like-for-like basis overall UK sales were down 3.1% while with “petrol” stripped out the decline was reduced to 2.3%.
Meanwhile Morrisons reported that in the quarter to 3 November 2013, total store sales excluding fuel were up by 1.0% compared with the same period last year, but when fuel was taken into account the growth was just 0.1%. Like-for-like sales excluding fuel were down 2.4%, and the fall was 3.0% including fuel.
Morrisons said it opened a further 36 M local convenience stores during the quarter bringing the total to 69 across the country, of which around half are in London and the south east, which the company considers to be an important growth area.
It said it remained on track to have 100 M local stores open by the end of the current year. And its target is to open a further 100 M locals in 2014/15. The new distribution centre in Bury is now operational and will support the expansion of the convenience network in the north west.
Dalton Philips, chief executive, said: “In convenience we are currently opening three M locals a week bringing the Morrisons brand to an ever increasing number of new customers.”
Earlier this week Sainsbury’s also revealed that its forecourts’ sales performance had lagged behind that of the overall group. To see this story click here.