It’s the cautious traditionalist versus the high-tech upstart. The Bradford bruiser versus the southern dandy. For investors, it’s the safe bet versus the long shot.

It’s Rocky versus Apollo, Godzilla versus Mecha-Godzilla… okay, not that last couple. But you get the idea.

Morrisons and Ocado both issue updates on their progress later this week and, as noted by Kamal Ahmed in the Telegraph today, contrasts between the two are not hard to find.

For Ocado, the third-quarter update is all about the numbers. Any nasty shocks and that share price could tumble once again.

The retailer has faced no shortage of bad press in recent months. But if it needs some encouragement, it can look to the example of Morrisons, which itself was in the firing line following the Safeway takeover.

Since then it’s been on upward curve, of course, and is this week again anticipating what counts as pretty robust like-for-like growth compared to its direct rivals. Attention there will be on Dalton Philips, who slipped inconspicuously into Marc Bolland’s brogues in March.

Those expecting a call to revolution on Thursday are likely to be disappointed. Moves online, abroad and into new areas of non-food are inevitable in the long run; the supermarket is currently hunting for a new strategy director to spearhead the push. But evolution will, as always, be the watchword.

As Sir Ken Morrison demonstrated in his extraordinary broadside at Bolland, there retains a traditionalist heart to the business. Its by-the-basics approach is one reason the supermarket fared so well in the downturn.

Some stereotypes endure because they’re true.

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