Morrisons is still selling off stores and has slapped a &'for sale&' sign on two of its shops, including one in its home town Bradford, as part of an ongoing review of its operations.

The supermarket chain has revealed that it put a Bradford city centre store and one in Wigan on the market this month as part of a review of its operations in light of what it said was "the long-term future shape of the company".

We are currently unable to estimate the time period involved in finding purchasers and the stores will, in the meantime, trade as usual," the company added.

Morrisons now has eight stores up for sale, including Bracknell, Ealing, Shepherds Bush, Wimbledon, Southend Eastwood and Tunbridge Wells.

Morrisons has been searching for a buyer for its Wimbledon store since December last year, while local reports suggest that its Southend Eastwood store has been on the market for eight months. Analysts said Morrisons continued sell-off of stores did not come as a shock. Clive Black, an analyst from Shore Capital, said: "We&'re not surprised that this tinkering with the estate continues. Morrisons has fundamentally completed the bulk of its store disposals. However, there remain a small number of stores that are leasehold, too small or lacking development capability where Morrisons is open to offers."

However, he added: "In the long run, Morrisons may regret disposing of smaller or convenience-based outlets as growth from the core superstore estate of 360 outlets plateaus and new streams of revenue are sought."
In its full-year results released in March, the group said that since it had acquired Safeway in 2004 it had sold or closed 241 stores that either did not fit the Morrisons trading model or were required to be sold by the Office of Fair Trading.
It added that it would continue to focus closely on "optimising its existing business this year".
Beth Brooks