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Morrisons beats expectations over Christmas and plans seven store closures

Morrisons’ like-for-like sales edged up 0.2% during the crucial Christmas trading period amid plans to shutter a further seven supermarkets.

According to Retail Week, the supermarket giant, whose sales bettered City expectations, said the number of same-store transactions rose 1.3% during the nine weeks to January 3, while online sales almost doubled year on year, as it continued to woo back shoppers.

But while like-for-likes excluding fuel advanced, total sales were down 1.2% as the grocer continued to invest in price.

The number of items per basket fell 3.6%. Sales contribution from net new space was down 1.4%, following the disposal of its M Local convenience stores.

The retailer said it has entered into consultation to close another seven supermarkets, but insisted there were “no further plans” for a programme of store closures. It comes afte Morrisons revealed in September that it would shut 11 stores, putting 900 jobs at risk.

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