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It’s not unheard of for supermarkets to focus on non-food departments to boost sales and footfall. It’s important that retailers keep evolving their offer to add value to shoppers, whether that’s through more departments under one roof, a wider range of products, or even a place for shoppers to rest.

In Morrisons’ case, recent moves to diversify its portfolio into more general merchandise will help it compete more closely with Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. In a recent trading statement, Sainsbury’s revealed customers were responding well to its new Argos ranges, with recent website and app improvements helping online sales grow. Foremost, however, Morrisons mustn’t forget it’s a grocer at its core, and this is where marketing efforts need to be placed first.

Until now, Morrisons has primarily focused on own label and price messaging from a food perspective. While the price focus and ‘fresh’ message have boosted sales, Morrisons will struggle unless it also starts to offer shoppers more value from its offering. David Potts himself agrees shoppers need to understand the value of a price, rather than expecting price cuts. If Morrisons is going to compete with its supermarket rivals and the discounters, this value must focus on specific benefits to shoppers.

While provenance is important to shoppers and trust in own label is increasing as shoppers look for value for money, the heavily price-led message Morrisons is showcasing in stores is being diluted as competitors also increasingly focus on own label and basket price communications. To truly add value to shoppers, Morrisons needs to leverage known brands by giving them more share of voice in store to entice shoppers in and get them to spend more.

It’s not just a case of stocking brands, however. Morrisons need to harness the shopper persuasion power that branded communications within a retailer have. Look at Aldi, which is now stocking prominent branded products like Colgate and San Miguel to ensure it’s giving its customers the mixed offering they want. This mix of branded and own-label goods will ultimately increase overall basket spend.

Matt Lee is a director at Capture