Morrisons – emerging through the mist

The to-do list at Morrisons goes way beyond turning off the misting machines and will take fresh thinking and a propensity for radical decision making to make an impact. Newly appointed David Potts has decades of retail experience to guide him but that experience was before the radical changes seen in the industry over the last 5 years. Add to that the slow pace at which Morrisons has moved and the to-do list becomes increasingly daunting.

Online shopping, convenience shopping, in store execution, marketing, loyalty cards are just some of the strategic challenges he will face.

Online shopping. Morrisons are now tied into a deal with Ocado which delivers groceries from Ocado warehouses. It is an expensive route to customer and misses out the Morrison’s stores themselves where click and collect could be added to the retailers’ hand. To-do: renegotiate the deal to use Morrisons stores with Ocado’s software and build a click and collect offer.

Convenience stores. M local was a knee jerk reaction in slow motion. Sites were chosen based on quick fixes which have since proven to be in the wrong locations. A site by site review will result in closures but will also provide data to build a better wish list of locations. To-do: use good sites to fine tune the format and deliver the best convenience format from the big 4.

In store execution. Dave Lewis added store hours to ensure disciplines were adhered to and customer service was prioritised. To-do: do the same focussing on availability which has been criticised and service which is a strong barometer of performance and can do the most to rebuild loyalty.

Marketing. Dated is the only word that comes to mind when we think of Morrison’s marketing and as much as the Ant and Dec partnership is a good demographic match, it is boring and does little to engage the customer. The customer’s level of sophistication has been underestimated and must be reassessed to rethink how Morrisons can re-engage with a lost audience. To-do: invite fresh ideas based on the customer they need and not just the one they have.

Loyalty cards. Watching twitter and seeing the number of tweets about lost, missing vouchers and the parody advertising of Lidl last year when Match&More was launched must leave Morrisons in no doubt that it isn’t right. To-do: ditch it. Start again from a simple platform that rewards the customer in an innovative way for changing their shopping behaviour.

The Morrison’s to-do list would be enough to put off a lesser man, but David Potts knows what he has to look forward to, and has a business that is ripe for change. But just in case he needs a little help along the way, Retail Remedy is always ready to take his call.


Retail Remedy provides bespoke, results-focused consultancy for retailers globally, from established brands to high-growth start-ups. Get in touch.

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