Morrisons’ acquisition of Safeway has not yet had an impact on pricing in the Channel Islands, said the islands’ largest food retailer, Le Riche’s Stores.

Safeway has one store in Jersey and one in Guernsey, and Morrisons has not yet cut prices at either, said Tom Scott, chief executive at Le Riche’s parent company CI Traders.

Scott said he had written to Sir Ken Morrison expressing an interest in the two stores plus a clutch of other Safeway sites in the south of England but, other than an acknowledgement, he had heard nothing. “As the stores are not on the list of shops it has to sell, they are probably not a priority for Morrisons at the moment.”

Like-for-like sales at Le Riche’s were up 6.5% in the year to January 31 - boosted by a strong performance from its Checkers hypermarket in Guernsey.

The 45-strong chain recently revealed plans to
convert the bulk of its estate to the Checkers and Checkers Xpress formats after trial conversions generated double-digit sales uplifts.

A pilot scheme to consolidate more deliveries at warehouses on the UK mainland was also proving very successful, said marketing director John Garton.

Sales at the chain’s three Wine Warehouse off-licences were up 3.2% on a like-for-like basis.

Total food retail sales were up 3.8% to £110m, reflecting the closure of the large Red Houses development, to be reopened later this year.