Morrisons details strategy for growth

Morrisons has listed six key priorities, as part of its ongoing strategy to improve profitability.

The update was delivered as part of the retailer’s preliminary annual financial results, and puts emphasis on cutting costs and delivering better customer service.

The six points are intended to help the supermarket’s existing Fix, Rebuild and Grow plan. Morrisons hailed the first phase of this plan, Fix, as having started well, with Q4 sales figures showing 0.1% growth, despite the deflationary effects of strategic price cuts.

The six points are:

COMPETITIVENESS:

Morrisons sees lower and simpler pricing as the way forward. The company said it had cut the price of key commodities and everyday items and was delivering value through its growing range of Made by Morrisons products. Meanwhile, steps have been taken to simplify pricing, with fewer and more impactful offers, many at ‘round pound’ price points.

CUSTOMER SERVICE:

The last year saw several initiatives to this end, including the introduction of express checkouts and separate customer service desks. Morrisons added that it was ensuring stores had the right technology and staffing structure to improve queuing times. Availability of products is also being addressed, with an increase in deliveries in certain categories.
Morrisons said: “We have sustained significant improvements in customer satisfaction through the year, and this will remain an important measure.”

LOCAL SOLUTIONS:

Morrisons sees tailoring stores to better suit the tastes and needs of their local community as a key objective. It has set up a small team responsible for local buying, marketing and events.

DELIVERING EXTRA SERVICES:

Capitalising on the fact that it owns 85% of its stores and that there is free space available at many of these, Morrisons is working with other companies to deliver more services, such as shoe repair. Morrisons believes this strategy can generate extra income for a comparatively small capital investment.

STREAMLINING:

During H2, Morrisons cut around 800 roles at head office which it says is part of a drive to create a faster, more efficient business.

The company is also working with suppliers across its categories to simplify its range of products. It says the move will lower operating costs, as well as allow room for category growth in areas where customers have expressed interest in a greater range, such as free-from.

MAKE CORE SUPERMARKETS STRONG AGAIN:

The company’s Fresh Look refit programme is aiming to review and upgrade the entire estate by the end of the 2018/19 financial year. A total of 50 refits were completed in the last year, with a further 100 due to be completed in the next.

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