There are six priorities ahead for the business as we rebuild the company by defining and strengthening the brand:
Being more competitive - We invested £300 million in our customer offer last year and aim to do more this year. We have cut the prices on staple groceries, simplified communication in stores and now have clearer, more impactful promotions. We’re developing our “Made by Morrisons” programme - driven by The Morrisons vertical integration model. Our aim is to provide a range of prices that are simpler, more competitive and based on Morrisons strengths.
Serving our customers better - We’ve recruited nearly 5,000 new colleagues and we’re rescheduling a further 10,000 toward the busiest times of the week. We’ve introduced new express tills and we’re scrapping the predictive software for queue lengths. Existing self-service checkouts are being replaced with best-in-class technology and we’re reorganising our wine & produce layouts. We’re on with these initiatives and they will be complete everywhere by Christmas. We believe a lot of small things together will serve our customers better.
Customers are beginning to notice with our internal customer satisfaction score starting to rise.
Finding local solutions - Elements of each store’s ranging, pricing, promotions & services can be localised, be more relevant and more successful. With freedom to make local decisions and be more active in the community, the company can use its knowledge of customers’ tastes & needs to tailor an offer to local areas more efficiently and more accurately than a wholly centralised formulaic approach.
Introducing popular and useful services - We already have strong service departments along with 400 cafes, 142 dry cleaners, 120 pharmacies and over 300 petrol stations. With our freehold sites we have the opportunity to add further services - in stores and in car parks - such as phone & tablet repairs and parcel collection that are not capital intensive and will enhance our returns.
Simplify and speed up - A modern retailer needs to be lean, quick and agile. The leadership team has reduced from 110 to 65; head office is now down to under 2,000 from a peak of 3,500. Morrisons is becoming more responsive as a result.
To make the core supermarkets strong again - Improving the shopping trip for customers and making the core supermarkets strong again is the cornerstone of the renaissance of Morrisons. Our new dialogue with customers is helping us understand the heart of what Morrisons stands for. We’re introducing a new “Fresh Look” refit programme to upgrade the entire estate by the end of 2018 - including the 200 stores that have not been brightened up in more than five years. We also have a separate “back to best” maintenance programme for each store; inside and out will be completed by the end of next month and will reset the physical condition of the estate. This will all be done within existing capex expectations.