Blog: Morrisons to face questions over ambition
Dean Best | 7 September 2011
This week, Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips will be in the spotlight when he announces the retailer's half-year results. The UK's fourth-largest grocer has been growing sales ahead of the market, although, like its rivals, its growth is lagging the inflation seen in the sector.
However, Philips will face questions about his plans to move the business further into convenience and online. A year ago, Philips said Morrisons would look to open convenience stores on a trial basis and would consider developing an online service. Since then, Morrisons has opened its first M-local store (and plans to open two more) and acquired a 10% stake in US online retailer FreshDirect, a move to help it set up its first online service, to be launched in London.
Oriel Securities analyst Jonathan Pritchard says the retailer had "exceeded" his expectations on like-for-like sales. However, he is less complimentary about Morrisons' diversification. "Customers want more than plain vanilla superstore food retailing these days - non-food, convenience, internet etc and, whilst the self-help open to the company is worthwhile and deliverable, we fear that the LFL form will wane eventually."
Philips is a man unwilling to be rushed into hasty expansion; last March, when Morrisons announced the FreshDirect deal, he was asked about the retailer's online ambitions. The decision to launch a service in London pushed back Morrisons' plans to enter the online space but Philips was quick to point to his rivals' records online. However, some industry watchers still want him to go further - and faster.
A year after union officials alleged Fyffes abused workers on plantations in Central America - and called on the produce giant to be kicked out of the Ethical Trading Initiative forum - the company is...
Much of the chatter about where 3G Capital could look next has centred on packaged food - but might the private-equity fund be about to extend its foodservice empire?...
Headlines that Mead Johnson's board has backed Reckitt Benckiser's takeover bid will no doubt overshadow the other news on the group this week – that it is facing a US lawsuit from a “whistle blower” ...
Kantar Worldpanel issued its monthly supermarket share data in the UK this morning - and the numbers showed a change in the identity of the country's top five food retailers....
- Does Kraft Heinz want to swallow Unilever whole?
- Focus: Nestle CEO plan to balance sales, earnings
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Why Reckitt Benckiser moved for Mead Johnson
- Kraft Heinz pursuing Unilever in takeover move
- Kraft Heinz pulls Unilever bid
- General Mills issues profit warning
- Kerry operating earnings strengthen on slow sales
- Kerry Group staff in Ireland suspend strike action