Morrisons is investing £30m in staff facilities in its 500 stores as it aims to boost morale and accelerate its recovery.

The grocer plans to offer subsidised coffee and free wi-fi while revamping the decor.

Employee pay and benefits has become a hot topic in the last 12 months as retailers prepare to implement the living wage in April.

Morrisons has said it is giving its 90,000 staff a 20% pay rise to £8.20 an hour from next month, more than the living wage of £7.20.

The grocer has suffered falling sales and profits in recent years as it came under fire from the discounters. However chief executive David Potts last year initiated a turnaround plan – including selling off its ailing convenience arm to focus on its core supermarkets – which bore fruit over the Christmas period, when like-for-likes rose 0.2%, beating expectations.

Morrisons’ investment in staff facilities contrasts with Asda’s tactics. Asda, which yesterday posted a like-for-like slump of 5.8% in the fourth quarter, is planning to scrap staff canteens and free coffee to cut costs.

Potts told the Financial Times he wants staff to be able to “recharge” at work. “We are a business that listens hard to colleagues and responds wherever possible,” he added.