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Festive cheer at Morrison

In this time of economic doom and gloom, it is refreshing to see that consumer spending, despite predictions to the contrary, has not slowed in all quarters. UK multiple WM Morrison managed to increase the number of customer visits over the Christmas period by more than 4 million.

The supermarket’s underlying sales rose 9.5% in the six weeks to January 6, beating Tesco, which only reported a 3.1% increase. Company CEO Marc Bolland attributed Morrison’s success to its £11m-£15m advertising campaign – 50% of the chain’s annual marketing budget – featuring Lulu and Denise van Outen.

The supermarket also had a successful Christmas last year, when it grew sales by 6.3%, narrowly ahead of Tesco.

Price promotions on products such as Baileys – down from £16 to £10 – also helped to drive footfall. Morrison has also rolled out 8,000 new product lines throughout its stores.

© Fionnuala Synnott, db 23/01/08

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