SIR KEN Morrison was not just a successful Yorkshire businessman who transformed his family’s two egg and butter market stalls from humble beginnings into the supermarket empire that proudly carries his name to this day – he deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest ever Yorkshiremen.
A billionaire grocer whose name became indelibly associated with this county because of his vision and values, it’s only because of his insatiable work ethic that Morrisons became one of this county’s largest employers – tens of thousands of loyal staff who owe their livelihoods to this entrepreneur.
Yet much of his success derives from the fact that Sir Ken never forgot his family roots after ably assisting his father on the family’s market stall in Bradford at the age of nine. This apprenticeship and face-to-face contact with customers taught him that shoppers sought both value-for-money and a personal service, two traits which he worked hard to maintain. Never afraid to speak of his mind, not least when he feared his legacy was undermined by successors who were slow to respond to the changes taking place in the retail sector, he was a man of humanity and gentle humour who made it his business to know his staff.
Without Sir Ken, Yorkshire would be a much poorer place and our thoughts are with his family as they reflect on his astonishing career.