Sir: Allegations that Morrisons is risking its USP by significantly increasing the amount of pre-packed meat it sells at the expense of doing less actual butchery in store are both missing the point and naïve (‘Pre-packed meat move not threat to Market Street’, 12 July, p4).
Market Street is first and foremost a marketing initiative to attract footfall and reinforce Morrisons’ brand values, in this case authenticity and tradition. Morrisons is hardly claiming to be an authentic street market, with all that involves, but is merely drawing on that tradition to differentiate itself and, God forbid, attract and retain customers.
Likewise, to criticise Morrisons for taking action that makes commercial sense is absurd.
Would critics prefer Morrisons ignore commercial reality and place even more pressure on itself?
What Morrisons is doing is trying to strike a balance between maintaining a proven brand differentiator and making the numbers stack up. One staff member argued that ‘it’s no good being different if you’re not relevant’ and that, for me, sums it all up.
What’s better? Difference and further downside or delivering decent returns to the shareholders?
Phil Dorrell, director, Retail Remedy