Morrisons slashes 1,000 prices

·2-min read
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Morrisons is cutting the price of more than 1,000 items - mostly fresh fruit and veg and own-brand products.

Through its new Price Crunch programme, it will knock an average of 19% off 1,072 items, in a rolling programme lasting three months. It can do this, it says, because unlike other supermarkets it makes more than half its fresh food itself.

"We are cutting the prices of products that customers will welcome being cheaper at Morrisons and we are cutting every penny we can," says chief executive David Potts.

"We continue to listen carefully to customers and they have told us they want lower prices, particularly on fresh food and everyday essentials. As we improve our customers' shopping trip we are becoming more competitive with our own distinct set of prices."

This week's bargains include onions down from 80p a kilo to just 56p, and 400g punnets of plums reduced from £1 to 74p. A medium whole chicken is now £3.00 rather than £3.50, and caged eggs are down from 70p to 52p per half dozen.

The cuts form part of a continuing effort by the established supermarkets to fight off competition from Aldi and Lidl. This time last year, for example, it slashed prices on 130 products by as much as half.

While Morrisons dropped its price match against the German discounters last October, it has continued to try to compete on price. According to market research form Kantar Worldpanel, the Bradford-based chain currently has around 11% of the market, although Aldi and Lidl, with 5.5% and 4.2% respectively, are catching up fast.

Morrisons is, though, fresh from its best Christmas for four years, with sales for the six weeks to 3 January up 0.5% after a long period of decline. But it recently announced plans to shut another seven stores on top of the 11 closures announced last September and has also agreed the sale of 140 smaller outlets to concentrate on its larger stores.

It's having fewer, but bigger, promotions, cutting down on multi-buy deals and getting rid of most coupons and vouchers.
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The news follows an announcement from Asda last month that it's making £300 million of price cuts on over 2,500 essentials such as meat, vegetables, eggs and nappies.

In fact, overall, figures from shopping and comparison website MySupermarket.co.uk show that grocery prices are the cheapest in over a year.

"It is great to see the cost of grocery staples come down further in price and shoppers across the UK will be delighted that they can make real savings this January," says managing director Kim Ludlow.

"The fall is part of a wider trend that we have observed here at MySupermarket, and is partly due to the intense competition between supermarkets with discounters such as Aldi and Lidl increasing their market share over recent months."

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