Morrisons’ wholesale operations are set to expand, with a newly formed business development team an indication of the retailer’s hopes for this part of its business.
Strong partnerships with regional retailers, including Guy Warners, Jempsons, and Fresh and Proper, were hailed as examples of mutually beneficial collaborations. Morrisons will aim to further extend these win-win operations in 2024.
The declaration was made to the audience of 1,300 gathered at the Harrogate Convention Centre to hear Morrisons’ leadership team reflect on the past year and set out their vision for the next 12 months earlier on Oct 3 where it was stated that Morrisons will also invest in modernising its large store estate though the primary focus will be on convenience, online, and wholesale operations.
Boosted by the acquisition of McColl’s, Morrisons stands as the fastest-growing convenience operator. The conversion of McColl’s stores into the Morrisons Daily format, occurring at an average of 15 stores a week, has led to substantial sales increases post-conversion. Morrisons anticipates completing the conversion program by spring 2024.
Building on this, Morrisons expects further expansion with hundreds of new convenience stores, widening product ranges into categories like household, health & beauty, food-to-go, and developing its core grocery offer.
Online sales partners will play a pivotal role in Morrisons’ growth strategy in 2024, with plans for a revamped website and cross-category opportunities to enhance performance.
Attendees heard firsthand from key members of the Morrisons leadership team, including James Badger, Morrisons Group Commercial & Manufacturing Director, Rachel Eyre, Morrisons Chief Customer & Marketing Officer, and Joseph Sutton, Morrisons Group Convenience, Online & Wholesale Director.
It was further added that Morrisons will be embarking on streamlining the products it offers to shoppers, with the retailer admitting that in some categories it is significantly overstocked compared to competitors.
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach across its various operations, Morrisons will instead ensure the right products are available at the right time to the right customers.
Whilst the focus for 2023 has been on value and pricing, the focus for 2024 will shift towards quality and innovation. Standards will be raised across Market Street, whilst the current products in the Best range will be reviewed.
Innovation was also highlighted as a way to accelerate growth, with Morrisons ‘open for business’ in this area with the ability to push through innovation faster than its competitors.
Morrisons also hailed the success of the relaunched More Card, which now has 5 million active users. This is providing the retailer with a wealth of first-party data which is being used to direct strategy.
This growing set of customer data will be used to power targeted advertising campaigns through the Morrisons Media Group. This is seen as a key driver of growth, which Morrisons will be leveraging to elevate event activation in 2024 and enhance brand engagement.