Morrisons boss David Potts has insisted the grocer is “well placed” to drive further growth, even if the proposed mega-merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda goes ahead.
The Bradford-based supermarket chain is in the midst of a turnaround under the former Tesco executive, notching up its 10th consecutive quarter of like-for-like growth this morning.
But Tesco’s acquisition of wholesale titan Booker and the potential combination of Sainsbury’s and Asda – the UK’s second- and third-largest grocery retailers – could threaten to derail Morrisons’ progress.
However, Potts said the retailer is “firing on all cylinders at the moment” and insisted it would not be distracted by such merger and acquisition activity in the wider market.
“We spend so much time thinking about this business, so much time listening to our own customers and we’ve learnt that’s the right thing to do”
David Potts, Morrisons
He said: “This approach the company is taking – colleague-led, customers onside, reconnecting the business with its core, becoming more relevant to more people – appears to be striking a chord.
“We spend so much time thinking about this business, so much time listening to our own customers and we’ve learnt that’s the right thing to do.
“In the end, regardless of prevailing circumstances of any type, our job is to lead the company to the benefit of all its stakeholders.”
Potts, however, admitted Morrisons was likely to engage with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the Sainsbury’s-Asda deal, although he refused to be drawn on the grocer’s position.
Sainsbury’s has asked the CMA to fast-track its probe to a phase two investigation, but the proposed deal is unlikely to go through until the second half of 2019.
Market observers suggest the enlarged business could be forced to sell off hundreds of stores in order to gain the watchdog’s approval.