Morrisons to provide wholesale supply service to Amazon

Bradford, England, 2016-Feb-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons and Amazon are today announcing a new supply agreement. In the coming months, hundreds of Morrisons products will be available to Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Pantry customers. Morrisons will provide a wholesale supply service to Amazon, allowing Amazon’s customers access to a wide range of Morrisons ambient, fresh and frozen products.

We are focussed on our six priorities to make the supermarkets strong again. In addition, we have an opportunity to build a broader business that complements our supermarkets and is consistent with our commitment to pursue capital light growth. Wholesale supply enables this by growing volumes and leveraging our manufacturing, distribution and wholesale capabilities.

David Potts, Chief Executive, said of the Amazon agreement:

“Today’s agreement is built on Morrisons unique strengths as a food maker. The combination of our fresh food expertise with Amazon’s online and logistics capabilities is compelling.

“This is a low risk and capital light wholesale supply arrangement that demonstrates the opportunity we have to become a broader business. We look forward to working with Amazon to develop and grow this partnership over the coming months.”

In addition, Morrisons has been in discussions with Ocado to grow Morrisons.com and an agreement in principle has been reached. This involves Morrisons taking space in Ocado’s new Customer Fulfilment Centre (“CFC”) in Erith, and Ocado delivering a store pick solution for Morrisons that leverages Ocado’s technology and Morrisons store assets. When implemented, this would enable Morrisons.com, working with Ocado, to sell to customers all over Great Britain.

This amended agreement is subject to detailed terms being agreed and will only proceed if it enables Morrisons to achieve profitable growth online. There can be no certainty that an agreement will be concluded.

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Morrisons provides better rest areas for colleagues with £30m staff facilities makeover

Bradford, England, 2016-Feb-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is giving its staff facilities a £30m makeover in order to make them better places to take a break for hard-working colleagues.

Staff will play an important role in the revival of the company and management have decided to invest in better rest areas after listening to colleagues who said they needed to be modernised and made more comfortable.

The four year makeover will see dated decor and fixed furniture replaced at all of the company’s stores. Separate dining and casual seating areas will be developed for colleagues.

The revamped Morrisons colleague rest areas feature:

  • Casual dining tables and soft informal seating areas
  • Subsidised freshly ground coffee machines
  • Free wi-fi throughout colleague areas
  • Access to mobile phone charging points
  • An upgrade of staff toilets

Some colleague kitchens will also be developed and will include an expanded range of hot and cold foods available to staff throughout their shifts.

Morrisons Chief Executive, David Potts said: “We are a business that listens hard to colleagues and responds wherever possible. We asked our staff for their views about their stores and many commented about their restrooms saying they would like them to be more relaxing and offer a better food service. This investment will ensure they are provided with the facilities and food to help them recharge during their breaks.

In September, Morrisons announced that 90,000 store staff would receive a pay rise with hourly rates increasing from £6.83 to £8.20.

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Morrisons announces its first price cut in 2016

‘Price Crunch’ is first in a rolling programme of price cuts in 2016

Bradford, England, 2016-Feb-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is to cut the price of 1,072 items with many of the reductions on fresh food, such as fruit and veg.

Morrisons Chief Executive David Potts said:

“We are cutting the prices of products that customers will welcome being cheaper at Morrisons and we are cutting every penny we can.

“We continue to listen carefully to customers and they have told us they want lower prices, particularly on fresh food and everyday essentials. As we improve our customers’ shopping trip we are becoming more competitive with our own distinct set of prices.”

The price cuts will be accompanied by a marketing campaign called ‘Price Crunch’ which will communicate the lower prices to customers through external and in-store advertising.

‘Price Crunch’ will be a rolling programme of lower prices, typically lasting a minimum of three months.

Morrisons is the UK’s second largest fresh food manufacturer and uniquely among the supermarkets, makes more than half of the fresh food it sells. It will be using its food manufacturing business to keep prices down.

Morrisons announces its first price cut in 2016

For further information please contact: Julian Bailey tel. 07969 061 092

About Morrisons
Morrisons is one of the UK’s biggest food retailers with 498 stores and we’re the only British supermarket to have our own food processing sites and abattoirs. We employ expert livestock buyers to pick animals straight from the farmer and we are unique in making almost a quarter of the food we sell in store ourselves, giving us unrivalled control over our supply chain.

We’re committed to supporting British farming, that’s why all Morrisons-branded fresh meat and everything on our butchers’ counters is 100% British. And we have more skilled specialists on hand to prepare more fresh food in store than any other retailer, with over 6,000 fully trained crafts people in our stores including butchers, bakers, fishmongers and cheesemongers.

Every week, over 11 million customers pass through our doors and more than 117,000 colleagues across the business work hard each day to deliver great service to them. Our aim is to give our customers more of what matters to them, offering great quality food at low prices.

SOURCE: Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

Morrisons to donate £100,000 to support families affected by the floods in the north of England and Scotland

Bradford, England, 2015-12-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is to give £100,000 to groups helping families affected by the floods in the north of England and Scotland.

The move comes as another storm is expected to hit western parts of the UK tonight.

The funds are being given to flood appeals in Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Scotland and Cumbria to spend on clean-up costs, emergency repairs and emergency supplies of clothing and food and drink.

David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive, said: “We have seen the terrible impact that the floods have had on communities that we serve and we want to do our bit to help.

“This money will help to start the clean-up process which will be a huge challenge over the coming days and weeks.”

Morrisons has already given food and other emergency supplies to crisis centres and store colleagues have also been supporting the clean-up, running collections and operating donating stations. Store cafés have also been used to provide free meals for displaced families.

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Morrisons to pilot a convenience food offer in five petrol filling station shops owned by Motor Fuel Group

Bradford, England, 2015-10-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is to pilot a convenience food offer in five petrol filling station shops owned by Motor Fuel Group (MFG).

The pilot will start by the end of the year and will allow Morrisons to supply branded and own-brand food to the forecourt stores.

The shops, all above 1,200 sq.ft, will be branded Morrisons and will receive deliveries of fresh and ambient food through Morrisons’ logistics network.

David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons, said: “As we said at our recent interim results, we want to consider new opportunities to Serve Customers Better in the convenience market where the capital commitment is low and the Morrisons resourcing is light-touch. This pilot in Motor Fuel Group filling stations will allow us to trial one opportunity in this growing channel.”

MFG has 373 stations operating under the BP, Shell, Texaco and JET fuel brands. This makes them the second larest independent forecourt operator in the UK.

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SOURCE: Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

Morrisons commits to supporting the employment of veterans

Bradford, England, 2015-10-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons has today (Thursday 15 October) signed the Corporate Covenant – a voluntary pledge which demonstrates the retailer’s concrete support for the armed forces community.

The Covenant sets out Morrisons commitment to supporting the employment of veterans and giving colleagues in the reserve forces the time they need to fulfil training duties – and where necessary deployment.Speaking ahead of the launch, Morrisons CEO David Potts said: “We owe a tremendous debt to members of the armed forces because of the enormous contribution they make to our country both during and after their service. Signing the Corporate Covenant shows our commitment to the armed forces and the support we offer to veterans, reservists and their families.”

Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Mark Lancaster MP, said: “The pledges of support made today by Morrisons are very welcome and should serve as a reminder of the tremendous contribution our Armed Forces make to society. By employing veterans and supporting reserves, Morrisons are helping to ensure that anyone who serves their country receives a fair deal as a result of that service.”

The Corporate Covenant will be signed at Morrisons Tamworth (Upper Gungate) store by David Potts and Brigadier Mark van der Lande, Head of Reserves Forces and Cadets, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

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Morrisons to increase its hourly pay rate for store staff to £8.20

Morrisons is intending to increase its hourly pay rate for store staff to £8.20 an hour from a previous minimum of £6.83.

Bradford, England, 2015-9-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 90,000 staff will benefit – across all age brackets.

Morrisons will make an extra investment of more than £40m in the improved hourly pay rate. Supplements, such as a premium for working on Sunday, will also be simplified.

David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons, said: “We have been listening to our colleagues who told us they want their pay to be more competitive and simpler.

“By paying a significantly higher hourly rate, we are recognising the contribution of our excellent staff, who are so important to the revival of Morrisons.”

The shopworkers’ union Usdaw is supporting the pay move and recommending it to its members.

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Morrisons will remove sweets from its main-bank checkouts by February 2016

Bradford, England, 2015-9-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is today announcing that it will remove sweets from its main-bank checkouts by February 2016 after listening to customers. The supermarket will replace the confectionery with a range of alternative snacks, including fruit, nuts and bottled water. Morrisons already offers alternatives to sweets at one in five of its supermarket checkouts.

The move is part of Morrisons’ work to improve customers’ experience at its checkouts. Other changes include:

  • Putting queue management back into the hands of its store checkout teams rather than use an automated system.
  • Re-introducing express checkouts for shoppers with fewer than 10 items.
  • Replacing older self-service checkouts with more advanced and easier-to-use models.

To make sure the confectionary replaced with items that customers want to buy, Morrisons is running a trial at ten stores across the country, where checkouts will be stocked with the new snacks as well as magazines and bags for life.

David Potts, CEO at Morrisons, said: “We have been listening to parents and guardians who have told us that sweets on checkouts can sometimes lead to pestering from their children. This change will make the trip through the checkout easier and less stressful.”

Bryonie Hollaert, Company Nutritionist, at Morrisons said: “We are doing what we can to help customers choose healthier foods. As well as taking chocolate away from checkouts, we are also removing sugar and salt from other food and drink products. Last year alone we removed nearly one billion calories and over 38million teaspoons of sugar from our soft drinks.”

Jane Ellison MP, Public Health Minister, said: “It’s great that Morrisons has taken this positive step, which responds to a clear demand from their customers. Retailers have a major role to play in helping people make healthier choices.”

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SOURCE: Wm Morrison

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Morrisons to sell 140 M local convenience stores for £25m retail entrepreneur Mike Greene and Greybull Capital LLP

Bradford, England, 2015-9-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons has agreed to sell 140 M local convenience stores for a consideration of c. £25m in cash, to a team led by retail entrepreneur Mike Greene and backed by Greybull Capital LLP. Morrisons will retain five M local stores, which are either on forecourts or will be converted to small Morrisons supermarkets.

In March 2015, Morrisons announced a review of the M local business. That review concluded that M local would have required significant further investment in new sites, plus additional capital expenditure and lease commitments, to reach profitability. In the Board’s opinion, today’s sale announcement represents the best solution for Morrisons and will enable future Morrisons investment to be focused on core supermarkets.

Morrisons expects to incur a loss on disposal of around £30m. In addition, Morrisons retains a guarantee on individual lease obligations, which could revert to Morrisons if the new business does not succeed. The residual contingent liability in this event is estimated at up to £20m.

In 2014/15, the M local stores to be sold recorded an operating loss1 of £36m, and gross assets2 were £68m. For 2015/16, the stores’ budgeted operating loss1 was £23m.

David Potts, Morrisons CEO, said: “Convenience is a large and growing channel in UK food retailing. Morrisons learnt much from its entry into the market, but M local was unable to scale. However, we remain open to other opportunities in convenience in the future. I would like to thank all the Morrisons colleagues for their hard work and dedication to M local.”

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Morrisons announces the appointment of Clare Grainger as Group HR Director

Bradford, England, 2015-8-6— /EPR Retail News/ — Clare has nearly 25 years of experience in HR and management, mostly in the retail sector with Morrisons and before that Asda. Most recently she has been Morrisons’ interim Group Retail Director and has been leading the stores business through a number of measures to improve the customer shopping trip, such as the recruitment of 5,000 new staff.

She will take up her new role in early September.

Morrisons has now made three new appointments to its Executive Committee. Darren Blackhurst joined Morrisons last month as Commercial Director from B&Q. He will head the company’s Trading and Manufacturing functions.

Gary Mills joined Morrisons last week as Group Retail Director, having previously worked for Stewarts Supermarkets and Tesco.

David Potts, Morrisons CEO, said: “Clare is a hard-working and talented director who passionately represents our people at every level. She has done a great job of leading our stores and now her focus will move to ensuring we grow, develop and attract the best talent to support our turnaround.”

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Morrisons continues to reset its prices downwards

Bradford, England, 2015-6-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — This week Morrisons will cut the prices of another 200 everyday items – such as bread, milk and butter – by up to a third as the supermarket continues to reset its prices downwards.

These are the first price cuts instructed by David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons. The grocer has led the industry in cutting prices since 2014, making 1,665 cuts of an average of 16%.

The latest IGD data shows price is the most significant motivator behind supermarket choice, with 83% of people claiming it to be ‘important’[i].

This week, Kantar WorldPanel reported that Morrisons had returned to growth for the first time since December 2013 and was the only one of the big four retailers to see increased sales in the latest sales period[ii].

Morrisons cuts will be on branded and own brand everyday basket essentials including:

Item Old price

New price Saving %
Morrisons semi skimmed British milk, 4 pints £1.00 £0.89 11%
Morrisons free range eggs, medium, 12 pack £1.89 £1.69 11%
Morrisons British butter, 250G £0.95 £0.88

7%
Morrisons Savers tuna chunks, 170g £0.79 £0.57 28%
Morrisons Savers orange juice, 3x200ml £0.45 £0.40 11%
Tate & Lyle Fairtrade granulated sugar, 1kg £0.69 £0.52 25%
Shredded Wheat, 30 pack £2.40 £2.19 9%
Hovis Original Wheatgerm, 400g £0.75 £0.59 21%
Tampax Regular, 20 pack £1.75 £1.29 26%
Heinz Mums Own Spaghetti Bolognese, 200g £0.79 £0.55 30%

In store, Morrisons will also simplify promotions by grouping together products at the same price point or promotional offer. In addition, new clearer point of sale materials will make it easier for customers to shop for the best value.

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Morrisons brings back staffed express checkouts to its supermarkets to offer customers a quick and personal service

Morrisons is bringing back staffed express checkouts to its supermarkets this week to offer customers a quick and personal service, and more choice at checkouts.

Bradford, England, 2015-4-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — The express lanes will serve customers who wish to buy ten items or less. They will mean customers with a small shop who want personal service will not have to queue behind those with a trolley full of groceries and have an alternative to self-scanning.

The average basket size for a UK supermarket customer is now 11 items costing £15, with shoppers visiting stores approximately five times a week[i].

David Potts, CEO of Morrisons said: “We’re listening hard to our customers and responding quickly wherever possible. If customers from time to time do smaller shops, they want to get in and out of our stores quickly.

“We are responding by introducing express checkouts which shoppers with ten items or less can use. These checkouts – and our very helpful staff – will offer a quick and personal service, helping to keep queues low and improving thousands of shopping trips.”

Two express lanes will be introduced at each of Morrisons 504 supermarkets nationwide. They will be run from existing checkout units within each store. One will be operational from 8am to 8pm and both during daily peak shopping periods of 12-2pm and 4-6pm.

Their addition means Morrisons will offer customers three payment options in store. Standard checkouts will cater for larger trolley shops, whilst self checkouts and manned express checkouts will give customers more choice for smaller shops.

The development comes after Morrisons retail team and CEO David Potts asked colleagues and customers how to make the shopping at Morrisons better. Another recent change has been the removal of Morrisons Intelligent Queue Management system in March 2015. Staff now use their own judgement to decide how many checkouts to open rather than being guided by a computer system.

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Morrisons to recruit 5,000 shop floor staff to further improve service, increase availability, and open more checkouts

Consultation begins to simplify Head Office

Bradford, England, 2015-4-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Morrisons is reshaping the way that its business is staffed, investing in new store jobs to deliver better customer service, while also proposing a reduction in Head Office jobs.

In its supermarkets, Morrisons has begun recruiting 5,000 shop floor staff to further improve service, increase availability, and open more checkouts.

At its Head Office, the company is beginning a consultation about a simplified management structure. The number of people employed there has increased by 50% since 2008.

David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive, said: “We are focusing on the things that matter to our customers. That means having more of our staff in our stores, improving product availability and helping customers at our checkouts. We believe our customers and our staff will appreciate the improvements.

“To support this, we need a simpler, faster and cost-conscious Head Office and that requires some tough but necessary decisions.”

The proposals would lead to a reduction of up to 720 roles at Morrisons Head Office.

Staff members whose role is being made redundant will be offered a role in a Morrisons store and some will be redeployed in other parts of the business.

Morrisons employs more than 20,000 people in Yorkshire in its manufacturing, logistics depots and supermarkets and roles become vacant regularly.

Morrisons will also be offering opportunities for voluntary redundancy.

The consultation will last for at least 45 days.

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Casper Meijer steps down as Group Trading Director at Morrisons

Casper Meijer is to step down as Group Trading Director at Morrisons with immediate effect.

Bradford, England, 2015-4-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Casper’s family remain in The Netherlands and he has decided not to commit to living a fuller part of his life in Britain.

The external search for his successor will commence immediately.

Casper was appointed to the Morrisons Management Board in December 2012 and has since then been leading the company’s trading strategy with the objective of delivering lower prices, fewer and bigger promotions and a simpler shopping trip.

Morrisons Chief Executive David Potts said: “Casper has played an important role in starting the process of making Morrisons better value-for-money for customers. However, we both believe now is the right time for this crucial role to be taken by an executive who will dedicate all their efforts to living and working here in Britain.”

Andrew Pleasance, with nearly 30 years in the business working closely with our supply base, will take on the role of Group Trading Director on an interim basis.

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Morrisons announces changes to reshape its Management Board

Morrisons today (24th March 2015) announces a number of changes to reshape its Management Board.

Bradford, England, 2015-3-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Group Customer Marketing & Digital Director Nick Collard, Group Retail Director Martyn Fletcher, Group Property and Strategy Director Gordon Mowat, Group Logistics Director Neal Austin and Convenience Managing Director Nigel Robertson will step down from the Management Board and leave the company.

David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive, said: “I will now be constructing a leaner Management Board, with the aim of simplifying and speeding up the business. I would like to thank Nick, Martyn, Neil, Nigel and Gordon for their service to Morrisons.”

Ross Eggleton and Miles Foster will continue to lead Logistics and our M local chain respectively. Andy Atkinson and Clare Grainger have been appointed to Interim Marketing and Retail Director respectively.

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Morrisons to stop infrared sensors Intelligent Queue Management systems that determine how many customers are flowing through the store

Morrisons is to stop using the Intelligent Queue Management (iQM) system in stores from today (Monday 23rd March 2015).

Bradford, England, 2015-3-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The system was used to determine how many checkouts to keep open at Morrisons supermarkets using infrared sensors that determine how many customers are flowing through the store.

Now checkout teams will be asked to use their eye and experience to meet their customer needs.

This response comes after Morrisons’ retail team and David Potts listened to colleagues and customers to understand how to make the checkout experience better for customers and for staff.

They concluded that Morrisons’ checkout teams would make better and more balanced decisions compared to the iQM computer system.

Morrisons is also to stop using ‘scan rate’ which measures checkout colleagues’ performance by calculating how many products they scan per minute.

Instead colleagues will be mainly measured on their level of personal service and teamwork.

David Potts said: “We intend to be an organisation that listens very hard to its customers and staff and, wherever possible, responds quickly. Our colleagues in our stores are best placed to use their experience and personal judgement in deciding how best to serve their customers, keeping queues low at the checkouts and improving the customer’s shopping trip.”

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