A spokesman for Britain’s fourth largest supermarket told FoodManufacture.co.uk yesterday (June 5): “We are not commenting on this story.”
But the troubled retailer is planning to announce a major restructuring plan, which could result in the loss of thousands of jobs, according to reports in The Guardian and other media channels.
New streamlined management
The retailer is reported to be mulling the cuts after testing three new, streamlined management structures in seven new stores. If implemented, the cuts would likely affect product category managers – in areas such as fresh food or non food – across Morrisons’ 500 stores nationwide.
Morrisons has pledged to cut costs, as a means of delivering lower product prices, in its bid to battle sharper competition from discount stores Aldi and Lidl.
Last month the retailer announced plans to cut 100 jobs at its Wakefield regional distribution centre. The changes will improve responsiveness and help to improve the distribution centre’s service to stores, said a Morrisons’ spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, reports of job cuts are the latest in a week of bad news for the Leeds-based retailer.
At the retailer's annual general meeting (agm) yesterday, Sir Ken Morrison, former chairman of Morrisons, described current boss Dalton Philips' recovery plan as “bullshit”.
Also at the agm, the store’s chairman Sir Ian Gibson announced plans to step down, a month after Roger Owen, a former director of the business, had called for his resignation.
Gibson said: “This term will take me into my eighth year on Morrisons’ board, and this announcement gives the board time to conduct an orderly search for a new chairman and ensure a smooth transition.”
‘Voted off the board’
At the end of April, Roger Owen, a property director at Morrisons, told the Yorkshire Post: “He [Gibson] should not be putting himself forward for election. If he does put himself forward, I hope sincerely that he is going to be voted off the board.”
Last week Morrisons was found guilty of breaching the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) by overcharging suppliers, according to the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).
The retailer breached the code by unilaterally making deductions from the trading accounts of 67 suppliers, said the GCA.
A spokeswoman for the retailer admitted “mistakenly” taking payments from a small number of suppliers, which were paid back as soon as the error was discovered.
Earlier this year, the retailer reported a pre-tax loss of £176M for the year to February 2, compared with pre-tax profit of £879M the year before.
Bad week for Morrisons?
- Press reports of up to 2,000 job cuts
- Sir Ken Morrison described Dalton Philips' recovery strategy as “bullshit”
- Chairman Sir Ian Gibson announces plans to step down
- Found guilty of breaching the GSCOP after overcharging suppliers