BRITAIN'S No. 4 grocer, Morrisons, forecast by analysts as the worst performing of the major supermarkets at Christmas, is hoping an advertising tie-up with comedy duo Ant & Dec will revive its fortunes.
In November the 482-store grocer posted a worsening sales decline and parted company with its commercial director, Richard Hodgson, saying it had failed to get its selling points across to consumers.
The Bradford, northern England, based firm said today that Ant & Dec will front a campaign throughout 2013 that will showcase the grocer's traditional skills - over 5,000 trained butchers, bakers and fishmongers - that it claims sets it apart from the rest of Britain's major supermarkets.
Morrisons' deal with broadcaster ITV, FremantleMedia Enterprises, Syco and James Grant Management will see the grocer sponsor ITV's flagship Saturday night shows Britain's Got Talent and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway as well as an advertising and brand campaign.
On Monday, Morrisons will update on trading for the six weeks to December 30.
Analysts are forecasting a fall in sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, of about 2pc - a decline that is likely to make it the sector's laggard of the festive season, though it partly reflects the firm's lack of an online presence and minimal convenience store offer.