Rebuilding customer trust is “fundamental” in the currently highly competitive grocery landscape, Morrisons incoming chairman Andrew Higginson has said.
Higginson, who was named as the new Morrisons chairman this morning, succeeding Sir Ian Gibson next year, told Retail Week: “There has been quite a change across the supermarket landscape and it doesn’t just impact Morrisons. It is fundamental to rebuild customer trust in supermarkets as the place to do their weekly shop.
“Retailing teaches you the difference between simple and easy. Rebuilding trust is simple but it isn’t easy.”
The Big Four supermarkets are enduring challenging conditions as they cut prices to try and compete with the increasingly popular discounters. Morrisons launched its high profile ‘I’m cheaper’ marketing campaign and Tesco and Asda have also launched price offensives in response to Aldi and Lidl.
Morrisons has been attempting to turn its fortunes around after it posted a £176m loss in March for the year to February 2. At the time it launched a restructuring programme and revealed it would invest £1bn into the business over the next three years. It has also been working to modernise its store structure, which includes axing 2,600 store management roles and this month it sold off its struggling Kiddicare maternity chain.
He added: “I hope to bring wisdom and confidence to Morrisons because when you have had a bit of a tough time it knocks your confidence.”
But he said his role will be to bolster the team and “to add heft” in his non-executive role.
Gibson revealed earlier this year he will retire from the retailer in June. Higginson will join Morrisons in October this year, initially as deputy chairman and will become chairman in 2015.
Morrisons appoints retail heavyweight Andrew Higginson as its new chairman
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Rebuilding customer trust is vital for supermarkets, says incoming Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson