YEP Says, June 3: Customer-first approach paying off for Morrisons

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FLATLINING under former chief executive Dalton Phillips, Yorkshire supermarket chain Morrisons is showing tentative signs of coming back from the dead.

FLATLINING under former chief executive Dalton Phillips, Yorkshire supermarket chain Morrisons is showing tentative signs of coming back from the dead.

It may only be 0.1 per cent, but the return to growth is a resounding endorsement of new incumbent David Potts – not least given that the company’s top rivals Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda all registered declining sales over the same period. So does Mr Potts possess a magic wand? Of course not, he has simply displayed that increasingly rare commodity known as common sense.

Hundreds of management jobs at the chain’s head office have been culled to recruit 5,000 additional shop floor staff. The distracting gimmickry that saw misting machines installed in the fruit and vegetable aisles has been removed. Its stores are being revamped to provide a more pleasant shopping experience. All eminently sensible measures, and the net result is that the focus is now squarely where it should be – on the customer. The only question is whether this is too little, too late. Morrisons faces demotion from the FSTE 100 index and its nominal growth must be set alongside the astonishing sales increases recorded by ascendant discount retailers such as Aldi. Yet whilst there can be no doubting the scale of the task still facing David Potts, Morrisons at least appears, at long last, to be on the right track.

Kids lead way in city clean-up

WELL done Spring Valley Rangers who have pledged to pick litter for the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Clean Up Yorkshire campaign. The after-school club for six to 13 year-olds is showing the adults how its done - first taking part in a community action day, planting shrubs, building bug hotels and litter collecting, and now they’re offering to take part in our campaign rallying for community clean-ups throughout the city. The Campaign to Protect Rural England estimates that if every person in Yorkshire picked up just one piece of litter from our streets a day, 2.5 million pieces would be removed in 24 hours. It starts with just one good deed. Will you join us?

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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