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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC    MRW   GB0006043169

WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC

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In lockdown Britain, supermarkets limit customers to enforce social distancing

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03/24/2020 | 01:17pm EDT
Shoppers queue to enter a Sainsbury's supermarket in West London

With Britain in lockdown, supermarkets have started to limit the number of customers in stores at any one time to enforce social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered Britons to stay at home to halt the spread of the virus, imposing curbs on everyday life without precedent in peacetime. But people are still allowed to leave their homes to shop for basic necessities.

Waitrose was the first chain to say on Tuesday its supermarkets and convenience shops would begin to limit customer numbers. It said limits would be specific to each branch based on the number of tills. ?Shop managers will use their judgment on customer numbers and when the shop is at capacity to manage social distancing will operate a one in, one out policy,? Waitrose said.

Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership [JLPLC.UL], is also using ?marshals? to help manage queues outside shops and if necessary remind customers to respect the government's social distancing rule requiring people to keep at least two metres apart from each other.

Outside Waitrose stores there will be signage and a coned area instructing customers where to queue.

Asda, Britain's No. 3 supermarket group, said it was also limiting the number of customers in its stores, when necessary.

Sainsbury's, the No. 4 player, and Morrisons are doing similar.

?We have signs about social distancing in the store and on those signs it does say we might from time to time limit the number of people that actually come in,? said a Morrisons spokesman.

Market leader Tesco had no immediate comment on its plans.

On Monday, Morrisons installed large perspex screens at all checkouts in all of its stores to shield customers and checkout staff from each other, while discounter Aldi has started to install them.

Waitrose, Asda and discounter Lidl also plan to install clear screens and Waitrose has ordered special protective visors for its staff.

All supermarkets are asking customers to pay with card rather than cash at tills as a way to help contain the spread of the virus, which has killed 422 people in Britain and infected 8,077.

Britain is raising the spending limit for contactless card payments to 45 pounds ($52) from 30 pounds on April 1 to reduce the need for physical contact with devices, the UK Finance industry association said.

The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand for food and household products, forcing supermarket staff to work round the clock to keep shelves stocked.

Aldi said on Tuesday it was paying its store and distribution staff a 10% bonus on hours worked, effective from March 9, mirroring a similar announcement from Tesco on Friday.

By James Davey

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
J SAINSBURY PLC 1.19% 200.2 Delayed Quote.-13.94%
TESCO PLC 4.08% 232 Delayed Quote.-12.66%
WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC 1.20% 180.95 Delayed Quote.-10.51%
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Financials (GBP)
Sales 2020 17 735 M
EBIT 2020 512 M
Net income 2020 316 M
Debt 2020 2 395 M
Yield 2020 6,86%
P/E ratio 2020 14,0x
P/E ratio 2021 8,87x
EV / Sales2020 0,38x
EV / Sales2021 0,37x
Capitalization 4 275 M
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Technical analysis trends WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS P
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TrendsNeutralNeutralBearish
Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 19
Average target price 208,78  GBp
Last Close Price 1,81  GBp
Spread / Highest target 13 992%
Spread / Average Target 11 438%
Spread / Lowest Target 9 571%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
David T. Potts Chief Executive Officer & Director
Andrew Thomas Higginson Non-Executive Chairman
Trevor John Strain Chief Operating Officer & Director
Michael Gleeson Chief Financial Officer
Belinda Jane Carew-Jones Independent Non-Executive Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC-10.51%5 308
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED0.31%27 429
TESCO PLC-12.66%26 947
AHOLD DELHAIZE N.V.1.32%26 323
KROGER7.00%24 130
SYSCO CORPORATION-44.76%24 027