Morrisons boss Dalton Philips insisted his plan has the backing of investors but said they would “hold our feet to the fire” over its execution.
Philips made the statement today as he revealed Morrisons’ like-for-likes plunged 7.1% in its first quarter. He said he had visited 150 financial institutions during Morrisons’ recent investor roadshow and they indicated he had “very broad support” for its strategy, which includes a new raft of price-cutting to woo back shoppers from the discounters. However, he said the execution of the plan would be scrutinised by shareholders.
Morrisons price cuts on 1,200 products last week and embarked on an aggressive marketing push. However, Philips admitted that it would take six months for customers to fully register the price cuts.
He said: “Customers can see it immediately but to believe in the permanency of not just price but the programme as a whole will take around that time.”
Philips said it was too early to see the impact of the cuts but said the grocer had seen “significant increases” in sales on specific products. He said that the strategy’s success would be measured on items per basket and the number of customers per store.
Phillips denied that the price-cutting offence was a “race for the bottom” for the grocer.
He said: “We stand for value and last week was a real statement of us being on the front foot on pricing. But we offer so much more, we’re going to shout from the rafters about our closed loop supply chain, our range and service.”