So far, the market hasn’t taken much to Morrisons’ newish chief executive David Potts’ ideas about turning around the grocer.
So far, the market hasn’t taken much to Morrisons’ new boss David Potts’ ideas about turning around the grocer.
Morrisons’ shares fell on the day of its results and have pretty much fallen every day since after Potts said that a revival of the business will take years rather than months.
As well as the emphasis on the hard yards that will have to be put in, some observers were disappointed about the broad nature of Potts’ outline of strategy.
No big deal
There was no big-bang moment, no big change of direction, so the conclusion they drew was it was no big deal and value should be sought out elsewhere.
However, is it such a bad thing that there was no throwing of babies out with the bathwater?
Instead there will be laser-like focus on re-establishing Morrisons’ bond with shoppers by being great again at what originally made it great – the provision of good quality product at good value prices accompanied by good service.
The grocery landscape has certainly shifted during the period in which Morrisons has struggled.
However, the retailer once had an impeccable reputation for value that, if reignited and linked with high quality, could yet be its salvation.
In the same way that the discounters emerged from being underdogs to take their place among the big players, it may not be too much to think that Morrisons can do the same.
That will depend upon executional excellence, which is Potts’ focus at the moment as he attempts to up standards to Morrisons’ traditional high level.
Big decisions made
It is not true to say Potts has avoided big decisions – the top team has been reshaped, head office staff numbers cut back and underperforming stores are likely to be shut.
He is also thinking about the future by investigating how Morrisons can build its online business, on top of its partnership with Ocado.
But it will be the detail of improving the customer experience – on- and offline – that will ultimately determine success or failure.
On that front there is much to be done but Potts, unlike his Tesco counterpart Dave Lewis, has bought shares in his business. It might be a while before investors follow suit but Potts seems confident a future can be secured for Morrisons.