Morrisons look closer than ever to selling its 13 Safeway stores in Northern Ireland.

Its annual report, which gives details of when it will convert a significant proportion of its remaining Safeway branded stores, makes no mention of when or if the Northern Irish stores will be switched over to the Morrisons fascia.

There is no other evidence in the report suggesting that Morrisons has any strategy going forward for Northern Ireland.

The retailer has come in for criticism for publishing the information regarding its conversion programme. Broker Panmure Gordon blasted the decision as “commercial suicide” as it would give its rivals plenty of time to plan their competitive response.

For the full story see this week issue of The grocer dated 30 April.