Morrisons sees exodus of shoppers after hiking prices more than any other major supermarket last year
Morrisons raised prices more than any other major supermarket last year leading to an exodus of shoppers, a report reveals.
The beleaguered Bradford-based grocer began ‘rapidly’ hiking prices in June, causing it to lose more shoppers than rivals in 2022, credit rating agency Moody’s said.
It was the only major supermarket to push up prices quicker than the German discounters Lidl and Aldi, according to data.
Debt pile: Morrisons began ‘rapidly’ hiking prices in June, causing it to lose more shoppers than rivals in 2022
And the sharp increases saw it haemorrhage market share, leading it to lose its spot as the UK’s fourth biggest grocer.
Moody’s latest report raises fresh alarm over the direction of Morrisons since its £7billion takeover by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in 2021.
Morrisons commands just 9.1 per cent of the market, down from 10 per cent before the deal but up from 9 per cent a month ago.
It is struggling under the weight of a £6billion debt pile, built up to finance the takeover.
The cost of servicing this debt is climbing as interest rates rise and, as a result, it has been pushing up prices faster than rivals.
The exodus of shoppers since its buyout led to humiliation when Aldi replaced it in the supermarkets’ Big Four in September.
It was a blow to Sir Terry Leahy, the former Tesco boss who spearheaded the deal who is chairman of Morrisons.
In an interview with the Daily Mail last month, former Morrisons director Paul Manduca said founder Sir Ken Morrison would be ‘rotating in his grave’.
And in a warning likely to set off alarm bells for Leahy, Moody’s said that as things stand Lidl could also overtake Morrisons ‘in the next couple of years’.