The new chief executive of Wm Morrison has pledged to listen to the supermarket chain’s customers and staff in an attempt to turn around the ailing company, writes The Telegraph. David Potts, who joined in March, said customers held the “keys to the kingdom” for Morrisons and that the company “wouldn’t go far wrong” if it listens to them. Meanwhile, The Financial Times (£) notes Wm Morrison trading has lifted under its new chief with “sweeping changes contribute to better performance than expected.”
At the age of 83, Sir Ken Morrison has been invited back to advise on repairing the stricken supermarket chain that was founded by his father on a Bradford market stall, according to The Times (£).
The Telegraph’s Questor column said Morrisons results showed “shares in UK supermarkets may never be the same again”. It said Morrisons showed “sales were slowing even after cutting prices”, adding: “Questor is concerned that these skirmishes with the discounters could descend into trench warfare and a long drawn out period of profit attrition.”
Meanwhile, the battle is only just beginning for Britain’s ‘big four’ supermarkets, according to The Telegraph’s Graham Ruddick. “The danger for Tesco and co is that the cost-cutting measures designed to shore up their balance sheets will hand further advantages to the discounters,” he writes. (The Telegraph)
Professional punters placed a big cross in SABMiller’s square as rumours of a £50-a-share cash bid from the world’s largest brewer of Budweiser and Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, did the rounds. (The Daily Mail)
Online retailer Ocado is developing robots that could reduce its reliance on people to pick and pack groceries for shoppers. In plans filed in an application to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Ocado describes a system that operates by using two types of robot mounted on a frame above the stacks of merchandise, removing the need for aisles to let people and machines travel around a warehouse. (The Guardian)
Whole Foods is planning to launch a smaller, less expensive chain of stores to cater to millennial shoppers, executives announced on Wednesday during an earnings call. The company’s co-CEO Jeff Mackey said the new chain, which has not yet been named publicly, would be focused on cheaper products but with less selection. (The Guardian)
A bizarre row has broken out at a London-listed Chinese food preservatives company after it confirmed its shares had been suspended because its former boss was refusing to hand over the licences needed to operate in China. (The Times £)