Morrisons share price steady as grocer starts 2017 industry war

on Jan 3, 2017
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Shares in Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) have advanced marginally in London this morning, posting an upbeat start to the year, as the blue-chip grocer fired the starting gun on the 2017 industry war by slashing prices on hundreds of products. The move is part of Morrisons’ ‘Price Crunch’ campaign revived by chief executive David Potts last year.

As of 08:31 GMT, Morrisons’ share price had added 0.30 percent to 231.40p, slightly underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.63 percent better off at 7,187.97 points. The supermarket’s shares spiked more than 56 percent last year, as compared with a more than 15-percent rise in the Footsie.
Industry magazine Retail Week reported this morning that Morrisons had cut shelf prices of 800 popular items including potatoes, fish fingers, meatballs, avocados and kale. The new wave of price cuts under the grocer’s ‘Price Crunch’ campaign means that the supermarket has now reduced the price of 1,500 products since the initiative was revived by boss David Potts last year.

“These price cuts will help families who are on a tighter budget and will continue to make Morrisons more competitive,” the grocer’s marketing and customer director Andy Atkinson told the magazine.
The blue-chip grocer’s move to slash prices comes against the background of an industry price war with the UK’s ‘Big Four’ continuing to fight against German discounters. Retail Week notes that Asda is expected to hit the accelerator further this year after new boss Sean Clarke slashed prices as part of the grocer’s ‘That’s Better’ campaign towards the end of last year.
The 17 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Morrisons for the Financial Times have a median target of 200.00p, with a high estimate of 230.00p and a low estimate of 130.00p. As of December 24, 2016, the consensus forecast amongst 22 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip grocer has it that the company will underperform the market.
As of 09:01 GMT, Tuesday, 03 January, Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc share price is 231.42p.

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