Strong Progress for Morrisons and Restaurant Group

It has been the revealed that Morrisons, and the company behind the Garfunkel’s and Frankie & Benny’s restaurant chains, are currently among a small group of retailers that are focusing on value for money, and performing well in what is, currently, a very tough economic climate.

Supermarket group, Morrisons, reported third quarter comparable sales up by 2.4%, and they have claimed that their customer base is growing as the economic crisis deepens. They have remained focused on keenly priced groceries rather than trying to sell flat screen TV’s, like much of their competitors. Recent in-store deals include a litre of Gordon’s gin for £15, down from £17, and a six pack of Mr Kipling mince pies down from £1.79 to just 89p.

The group have been quoted saying: “Morrisons’ focus on providing top-quality, fresh food and keen pricing, backed by an exciting and innovative range of promotions, has again met our customers’ expectations.” Morrisons has acknowledged that trading conditions were “challenging”, whilst insisting that trading is indeed on track. They also reiterated their expectations that the environment would remain tough “for some time to come”, as they put it.

Meanwhile, the aptly named Restaurant Group, has said that it too was making some great progress “despite a touch economic backdrop.” They have reported that comparable sales were ahead by 2.75% for the 44 weeks to 6th November. This will undoubtedly assist them when purchasing commercial restaurant insurance, which is, for some restaurant businesses, a real strain.

The company has stated: “The Restaurant Group has a distinct market positioning with strong brands and great value-for-money offerings. Looking forward to 2012, although we expect a continuation of current trading conditions, our team will be working to ensure that the group continues its good progress.”

Many of the restaurants can be found in cinema complexes, airports and other locations away from busy high street areas where rents are unsurprisingly higher. Furthermore, the Restaurant Group has also announced that it had agreed new expanded five year borrowings of £140 million, without any changes to covenants.

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