Morrisons yearly profits given a boost by ‘professional shoppers’
Morrisons, the UK’s 4th largest food retailer, has reported a profit of £947m in 2011, up 8.4% on the previous year. This is due to an increase in ‘professional shoppers’ – bargain hunters who share product and service information on social networking sites.
Dalton Philips, Morrisons' chief executive, said the rise of the ‘professional shopper’ had been a “phenomena we've been seeing for the last six to eight months or so. They are customers who are spending to a specific budget - they are spending more time cooking at home, so cooking from scratch.”
“And they are shouting about the bargains that they see out there, going onto social media checking for them and communicating them,” he said.
The opening of 34 new stores in 2011 also helped Morrisons to attract a record number of customers.
Even so, Morrisons warned that it expected 2012 to be another tough year, with customers squeezed by high fuel costs and an increase in the price of basic food last year. Beef prices rose 15% and wheat prices were up 32%.
To help generate growth Morrisons plans to open more convenience stores, saying that this part of the retail market is growing much faster than larger stores.