David Potts, the new chief executive of Morrisons, is sending managers from head office back to the shop floor over Easter as he begins his attempt to improve trading at the ailing supermarket.
About 1,000 staff will join Potts working in stores over the holiday and all 2,000 employees at the group’s Bradford headquarters will in future spend five days a year on the shop floor. In the past they spent just one day a year helping during the Christmas rush.
The initiative echoes the similar move by Dave Lewis when he started as Tesco boss in September last year.
Potts, a former Tesco executive, recorded a video urging staff and customers to let him know what they love and hate about Morrisons when he started work on Monday.
He has been looking at customer feedback about different aspects of their shopping trips with 12 store managers at Morrisons’ store in Guiseley, Leeds.
Potts said: “I want to listen hard and respond to the views of as many customers and staff as I can. I strongly believe that we are all retailers and we can learn how to serve our customers better when we are working in our stores or when we do our own shopping.”
Morrisons has plummeted to a loss of £800m after slashing prices, cutting staff and investing in a new online delivery service in an attempt to fight back against growing competition from discount retailers including Aldi and Lidl. All the supermarkets are struggling as shoppers buy more from convenience outlets and online and stick to tight budgets on food spending.
This article was written by Sarah Butler, for theguardian.com on Thursday 19th March 2015 19.59 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010