By the grace of technology, the whole world is considered as a global village. The whole world is now competitive world. Everything is competed and considered globally. However in open market economy there is a huge competition among the existing retail industry. It is true that demand of retail industry is increasing day by day. In the UK it is well developed, highly demandable and most popular industry. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of the Morrisons retail industry meticulously.

Retail Industry:

According to ( The retail industry is a sector of the economy that is comprised of individuals and companies engaged in the selling of finished products to end users in the general public. In the UK, existing main retail competitors are as follows:

  • Tesco Supermarket Limited
  • ASDA Supermarket Limited
  • Sainsbury's Supermarket Limited
  • Morrisons Supermarket Limited
  • M&S
  • Waitrose
  • Iceland
  • Aldi
  • LIDL
  • And others

All supermarket deal with almost same business such as grocery, ready meal, pizza, butchery, bakery, delicatessen, frozen food, fresh food and vegetables household products, toiletries, dog food, bread, biscuits, stationary, drink wines and so forth. Although their business is same but their plan, nature, objectives, mission vision, policy and strategy are different. In this connection, as a retail industry we have chosen Wm Morrisons Supermarket Private Limited Company (PLC).

History of Wm Morrisons Supermarket (PLC)

Wm Morrisons is the fourth largest food retailer in the UK. Every week around 9 million customers pass through Morrisions doors. Morrisions has been providing high class service to their valued customers over a century. (According to Bolland 2009 p 2) from a stall in Bradford market in 1899 by the egg and butter merchant William Morrison began work to create the company we know today as Wm Morrison Supermarket (PLC). As a part of the expansion Morrisons takeover different company like Safeway, Whelan Discount Stores etc.

Morrisons journey (at a glance)

Now Morrisons is the fourth largest retailer in the UK and the fifth largest manufacturer (By Bolland 2009 p2). Serving around 9 million customers every week, Morrisons always believe that they can do more……….

These are some of the milestone on Morrisons journey

2009- The Quality food and the grocer own label excellence awards.

2008- Multiple retailer of the year, Grocer of the year.

2007- Retail industry awards

2006- Food Marketing & Manufacturing award, Sea food retailer of the year

2004- Safe way integrated into Morrisions

2001- Now one of the top 100 top UK companies

2000- First store open at Wales and Ken Morrison awarded Knighthood.

1999- 100th store opens in centenary.

1988- The first Morrison distribution centre goes into operation

1978- Takeover of Whelan Discount Stores

1967- Morrison becomes a public company.

1961- First Super Market opens.

The Nature of the Business

We know Morrisons is the fourth largest supermarket in UK. Morrisons pay their interest to the quality of their products, they aim to waste nothing and they always gaze at the cost that's why their customer gets a great deal. And Morrisons set the standard in all area of their business. Morrisons basically deal with the fresh food and vegetables, ready to eat meal, gorceries, electrical, household products, toiletries, drinks and wines.

Vision of Morrisons

(Again according to Bolland 2009 p 8) Morrisons vision is quality, service, price and to be “The Food Specialist for Everyone”. Recently Morrisons launched “Great tast, less wast” campaign to reduced the wasting food. Morrisons want to be ‘Food Specialist', because their skills help to deliver fresher food in competetive less price than anyone else. That's why they emphasise the following:

  • Fresh
  • Value
  • Service

Mission of Morrisons

(As per Bolland 2009 page 8) Morrisons always listen to their customer. At heart they are retailers who love doing job for their customers, because sometimes customers want to know where their food comes from, how it's been framed, stored, packed, and transported to our shops. (Bolland also told 2009 p 8) if they listen to their customer they won't go far wrong. So Morrisons aim for the future is clear. However by sevrving quality fresh food and service in minimum cost Morrisons want to be the retail market leader in uk. To do what they do best- providing customers with what they want by using everyone's expertise from across every part of the Morrisons business.

Changes of Morrisons

We know that, in 2004, Morrisons acquired the safe way and recently they took over Somerfield and cooperative stores. (From Bolland P 19) we put enormous effort into training our colleagues and it is important part of our business strategy before taking over or opening any new stores. Morrisons management arranged several meeting to introduced the new technolgy. First of all the introcuced the system in test basis within the few store as long as the system working successfully then they implement in all stores. Bolland also mentioned, when he arrived in Crediton, Devon in April 2004, they gave him an office and they had a series of meeting to explain how the conversion would work. He was involved in process of job matching and when they worked out how many staff they need and found everyone from the old store would have a job at the same level as their previous position. So they transferred everyone from somerfield to Morrisons. And they had about ten weeks training, & they were very pleased with it. He also told it was really complicated but he really enjoyed it.

Causes for changing:

As a retail superstore Morrisons is a customer oriented business. Any change or innovation has made due to customer expectations. Morrisons carefully and cordially consider what the customers want and they work according to that.Morrisons always change in time, because change bring challenge, challenge convey opportunities and opportunities help to create something new, something innovative to the society. Management always looking for good quality products and services in minimum cost so they can offer a good deal to the customer. However, bearing customer expections in mind and for offering quality product and service management always have to be innovative. Not only that in open market economy it's a competitive market, to exist in the market competition Morrisons has to be one step ahead and innovative.

Innovation of Morrisons

Innovation : Innovation is breakthrough approach or idea that can be completely new or an enhancement to something that already exist and it is also a refreshing perspective that will challenge many who just cannot see beyond what their own experience is telling them to think or do.

Innovation is something new that add value; creativity is something new. (As defined at Class Lecture Sheet)

Morrisons Innovation at a glance:

(a) Voice picking Technology:Morrisons has successfully introduced voice picking technology in its all roceery ware house. Because of this technology depot productivity increase significantly. It led to more accurate products being available in store.(

(b) Infrared detector Technology: Morrisons has successfully equiped this technology for analysing customer behaviour and increasing staff deployment efficiency. It counts the people entering the store and fed on to a sytem which displays how long the customers queue and waiting time and overall store chekout performance in real time.

“The investment in the latest technology is part of our strategy to continue to be not only a leader in terms of value for money, but also in the delivery of exceptional service and real benefits to our customers,” said Sylvia Jones, head of retail operations at Morrisons (

(c) Self-scan Checkout system: Recently Morrisons has installed this system to reduce checkout time. Before installing that they have to deployed more employee in the till. Moreover some customer does not want to stand in the queue for long time. Now it reduced the waiting time, employee deployment time as well as cost.

(d) Recent Innovation reduced thickness of wrapping Bacon:A bacon team line member mentioned that bacon was always falling off the machine, which was affecting productivity and time. He suggested two Perspex guards to stop the bacon falling off the belt. This is simple but highly effective innovation, cost just £30 to put in place, yet it is increase productivity and taking less time and led to a happier bacon line. (From Bolland 2009 p. 25)

(e) Promotional idea:Bolland rightly Indicated that Morrisons is the first food retailer to introduce “buy one get one free” offer. (P24).

(f) Ready-to-cook fresh meals:The launch of Morrisons innovative ‘Fresh Ideas' ready-to-cook fresh meals, which offer a great value alternative to dining out. ( [2009]

(g) Bioethanol E85 fuel Innovation: Bolland demanded that Morrisons were the first company to offer Bioethanol E85 fuel at their petrol station. It reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It does not pollute ground water moreover it helps the local farmer.

Benefits of Innovation

It is obvious that innovation always give the competitive advantage to the company. (Bolland p. 5) Rightly told that the first priority is our customers. Now a days customers are very concious about their right. Due to our quality, service and low price our customers are increasing day by day. After successful introduction of infrared detector and self scan chekout system now customers do not need to stand in the queue for long time. However, customer have got more option to shop at Morrisions.

Successful performance of Morrisons

Now in the UK, Morrisons is a mounting and promising supermarket and their customers is increasing day by day (Bolland p. 22) “On 1st September 2009 Morrisons reached a major milestone- the conversion and opening of 33 stores with recently acquired Somerfield and Co-operative stores in just three months has taken our stores to 417 and bought us closer to 1.2 million UK households.

Some successful performance of Morrisons at a glance:

(a) Fourth largest retailers: As mentioned at ( [2010] Morrisons is the fourth largest food retailer of UK by sales with an annual turnover in excess of £15bn. We have 417 stores, visited by around 9 million customers every week and served by 124,000 employees.

(b) Market share growth rate: ( [2010] Although it was a recessoin period but Morrisons market share growth is well above from last year. Morrisons grocery market share goes up from 12.3% to 12.6% in the year.

(c) Some Finacial Higlights: from ( [Jan, 2010]

Like-for-like stores




Sales of goods (£m)





Fuel (£m)





Other Salels (£m)





Turnover exc VAT (£m)





Sales per square foot (£)





Customer numbers (m)





Customer spend (£)





Financial highlights


Group turnover

2008/09: £14.5bn +0.9b


Like-for-like sales


2008/9: 8.2%


Underlying profit

2008/9: £636m +131m


Capital expenditure

2008/9: £678m +228m


Net debt

2008/9: £642 +282m


Total dividend

2008/9: 5.7p +2.5p

(d) Awards and achievement: (From [2010]

Morrisons were proud to win different retail industry titles in the recent years:

Morrisons won not only the retailer of the year in 2009 and 2008 but also the gorcer of the year 2008. In the year 2007 Morrissons won the retail industry award. In the year 2009 Morrisons launches farming programme to help improving efficiency and sustainablity of British farming and also launches “Great taste, less waste” campaign to reduce the food waste.

All these performance and achievement has been possible because of the Morrisons visions, missions, values, innovative thinking, tremendous effort and dedication of the colleagues across the company.

Limitations of Morrisons

Although Morrisons product quality, competitive price, services, value, innovative thinking, growth rate is noticeable and remarkable but Morrisons is not getting market like Tesco. Moreover, according to ( ) [2009] like other business, Morrisons faces uncertainity and risks which has a significant impact on company's objectives. As a part of the business risk is acceptable and responsibility for risk management lies with the Board. Through the application of judgement and consideration of the probability and effect of actions, the Board do believes a successful risk management framework balances risk and reward.


We know (From Bolland p.6) Morrisons is the fourth largest retailer in the UK and the fifth largest manufacturer, serving nearly 9 million customers per week. Moreover Morrisons always believe in fresh thinking, change in time and encourage business knowledge, business intellectual and innovations. However, to step up their business and getting a larger market like Tesco, Morrisons can go behind the followings business ideas or suggestions:

  • Morrisons can introduce promotional card idea like Tesco club card or Sainsbury's nectar card etc.
  • Morrisons can open small stores like Tesco Express or Sainsbury's local or central etc.
  • There is a great scope to open banking and finance business.
  • Morrisons can give emphasize on online shopping widely and enlargely.


Fantastic customer service, competitive price, innovative business idea, and business strategy is the main strength of Morrisons. Morrisons common set of values helps them to work as a one team. Especially Morrisons fresh food offer is unique among the major supermarkets. They deeply care about freshness, quality and cost of food as well as the farmer. They are closer to the source of the food they sell than any other retailer, nurturing direct relationships with farmers, and running their own factories, production facilities and distribution network. Morrisons vision provides a real value and service to their customers. Morrisons increasing trend of market growth, present market position, remarkable performance, strong financial position and acceptable brand to the customers will lead Morrisons to become a big giant retailer in the UK.

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