Company Strategies Wm Morrison Supermarket Marketing Essay

Background of Wm Morrison supermarket PLC

Wm Morrison Supermarket Plc is the UK`s 4th biggest retail very market founded in 1899. The company distributes goods, buying and functioning around 120 supermarkets and greater superstores. These are mainly located in the north east of the UK, although the business has been expanding into the south. Nearly all its supermarkets likewise have petrol stations on the forecourts, offering discount gasoline to customers. In addition, the company provides an waiting for you discount credit card, Morrison Mls, allowing customers to gather points on the groceries and assert discounts on fuel at these stations. The business has lots of subsidiaries, including Farmers Son Limited, Holsa Limited, Neerock Limited, W. Todd (Potatoes) Small, Farock Insurance Company Limited and Wm Morrison Produce Limited. The principal activities of its subsidiaries are the manufacture and syndication of fresh food products, insurance services, polythene handbag manufacturing, produce product packaging, fresh meat control and market trading. It displays more than twenty thousand assorted products in its stores, including an intensive own label range. Most the brands it markets are its, amounting to 55%. Using the acquisition of Safeway, Morrison is likely to gain around 425 stores throughout the UK. Due to the differing character of Safeway's house, Morrison will grow its store format to incorporate mid-sized and smaller stores, keeping the Safeway brand for convenience stores. Certain obtained stores will also be selected to gain the Market Avenue format observed in the Morrison store. The business has an gross annual turnover of 14 billion, with an increase of than 10 million customers, 15. 6% of the united kingdom grocery market show and 124, 000 employees. (DATA Keep an eye on 2004)

Overview of the company`s strategy

Wm Morrison's supermarket Plc has three particular strategies which are

Value- Keeping costs low to guarantee the prices are competitive. This is done by offering to all its consumers with an exceptionally best price all over they can be.

Freshness- the business offers more newly ready food than any other retailer. This is achieved through "vertical integration" since it manages nearly every aspect of its business functions inside, involving meat processing, fresh food, fresh fruit, vegetables and transportation. The company will all the distribution of its products bought in its stores to customers. Fresh products are sent into its warehouses under a handled temperature and crops for packing local and in foreign countries set for forwards despatch to their stores nationwide. The company has its own purpose built fresh food place (manufacturing plant) called Farmers boy that produces pizzas, cooked properly meats, pies, packaging parmesan cheese, sausages and bacon. It also has facilities of handling its meats before sending them to their stores. It manages its own carry fleet.

Service- Guaranteeing the right product is always available, the system of great offering and service for customers` adherence (http://www. morrisons. co. uk).

In Michael Porter`s common strategy terms the corporation uses a low cost strategy Porter (1980). But in Ansoff product matrix term the company uses penetration strategy, i. e. existing products and marketplaces with a noticable difference and streamlining of operations in order to contend. In conditions of development strategy the company uses organic growth in that it creates factories and farms to produces everything it markets.

Assessment of the business current strategy

Growth more than the market

Measuring of success




Sales progress (exc-fuel)

5. 2

4. 6

7. 9

Market growth rate

4. 0

3. 5

5. 6

Sales growth more than the market

1. 2

1. 1

2. 3

This is further represented on the graph below

Underlying basic revenue per share (pence)


16. 7


14. 4


8. 3

Total dividend (pence per show)


5. 8


4. 8


4. 0

SWOT Analysis

Morrison has benefited substantially from the intro of the Market Avenue format to its retail outlets. Its earnings have noted strong increases for a number of years. However, increased legislation of the grocery store market and intensifying competition cause significant future dangers.


Substantial northern presence and enlargement of processing capabilities

Long-standing management team

High service standards


Dependency on UK

Uncertainty over long-term outcome of


Lower quality Safeway estate

Labour extensive Morrison model



Synergies from Safeway merger

Convenience store expansion


Competitive environment

Restaurant expansion

Price wars

Share price performance


http://www. lse. co. uk/ShareChart. asp?sharechart=MRW


The decision to nationalise retail supermarket like Wm Morrison supermarket Plc and additional to the global market segments is very significant since it is a way of expanding the company`s businesses, diversify its opportunities as a source of risk decrease strategy and upsurge in profitability. However, account has to be given in regards to to the nature and the sort of strategy (ies) to adopt in these surroundings. It really is for instance necessary to consider what kind of product (s) to produce and sell, and whether these products will be acceptable in these marketplaces. The company needs to be familiar with the target environments and the countries it wants to get into. The conditions of the marketplace must be assessed to ensure that Wm Morrison can earn a show of both countrywide and the overseas markets. Issues such as the economic conditions, political situations, social issues and the degrees of technology in these market segments will have to be ascertained by the use of PEST (PESTEL) research, the competitive characteristics of the market segments which five causes model analysis can be implemented to determine the levels of competition existed in these market segments (Porter 1980), as well as Tariffs, tasks and conformity with guidelines and laws are other vital issues to be looked at also. Wm Morrison must conduct its own organisational audit with the use of SWOT research to determine it strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and dangers so that strategies could be developed geared (towards) that.

The development of a required organizational operations and allocating of appropriate resources to national and global effort normally requires creating an unbiased departments (for export) within the organization. Though, this may be expensive when overheads and other liabilities are considered. It may take a considerable number of years to develop a sizeable market talk about. As a consequence corporation in a kind of strategic alliance with other retail supermarkets could reduce considerably the timing to determine in these international markets


The strategy and interest of competitive benefits started a long time back but never became popular before 60's of the twentieth century that the idea spread out when Edmund Learned & Kenneth Andrews pointed out SWOT examination denoting durability as a competitive advantages (Schendel, 1994). Competitive gain as an organizational competence and capacity to perform in a single or many ways that other competitors find it hard to imitate now and in the foreseeable future (Kotler, 1997:53; Kotler, 2000). Nevertheless, for the Wm Morrison supermarket to compete in these concentrate on markets, it has to develop a strategy which will be unique and difficult to be imitated by other players in both national and the global market segments.

Porter (1985) accepted competitive benefits as a proper goal; that is clearly a dependent varying and the explanation behind this is the fact the nice performance relates to reaching a competitive advantages (Read & Difillipi, 1990:90). Others see competitive advantages as an potential to produce products or offer services dissimilar to what opponents do, by utilizing the advantages that organizations have got to be able to add value in a way that competitors find it hard to imitate (Pitts & Lei, 1968:68). It could be assumed that competitive edge is a member of family quality that organizations state to possess by which they can go beyond their competitors' performance, and achieve long lasting benefits as recognized by clients. It is assumed that the platform provided by Michael Porter is one of the very most well-known tools that are being used in theoretical as well as empirical research, since it pays an focus on all the activities completed by an organization regarding its external environment.

Competitive business strategy

Competition in Global environment which was written and later on edited by Michael Porter Porter (1986) is a way to study and an attempt to systematizing global business development. Porter analyzes a organization`s global proper options by focusing on two principles: allocation and coordination. By allocation he meant globally distributing and allocation of the value string activities. On the other coordination identifies the coordination amongst the sent out bases.

He explained global strategy as "a technique to achieve a worldwide competitive benefit through focused allocation or coordination of sent out activities, or both" (Porter 1986, p. 35) and mentioned that "for proper understand of competitive benefits concept of a global strategy or the cause of globalization of a company, Mw Morrison should identify the circumstances for reaching cost diminution or differentiation by internationally concentrating on the operations or coordinating the distributed activities". He emphasised that such situations are: (1) immediacy to marketplaces; (2) economies of range and experience impact; (3) effective loan consolidation and coordination of activities; and (4) comparative good thing about each country.

Global competitive strategy gives a company with the suggestions to generate an unpleasant and / or protective position in the global marketplaces whereby yielding higher dividends on its assets. Corresponding to Porter a business must adopt a competitive technique to win gain competitively over its rivalries. Competitive advantages is something that provides a business an edge over its competitors in the products/ services it offers (offers). Companies have unearthed different approaches to this end, and the most significance of the technique for a particular company is eventually a distinctive design reflecting its special situation.

Competitive Country wide business strategy

Ansoff matrix for strategy



2. Market Development

4. Market Diversification

Current Market

1. Market


3. Product Development

Current Product

New Product

Ansoff's Marketing Model

Adopted from Ansoff (1957)

According to Ansoff (1957), Wm Morrison supermarket may decide choosing one of the four product-market expansion strategies which are shown on the diagram above. They consist of market penetration, market development, product development (diversication). But Ansoff however suggests that the safest of the growth tactical options is to look at market penetration strategy. With this plan Wm Morrison could gain more usage from its existing consumers and moreover seeks to attract new ones in their existing market.

On the other side, Ansoff indicated that the just a little riskier option is to take the market-development strategy of getting new sorts of consumers for today's produce of the business enterprise from either new programs of circulation, or new geographic areas.

Wm Morrison as an alternate may a technique of product development, by developing new products, diverse variations of existing products or quality at different levels of current products to be bought from its existing markets.

The final strategic option in Ansoff terms Wm Morrison can follow and is also the riskiest strategy overall is the strategy of diversication. With this Wm Morrison supermarket must develop completely new produce for new markets. This is very costly because the company has to depart what it is producing and providing presently.

In the writings of Hangstefer (1999) for Wm Morrison to build growth drive, its professionals should persuade advancement in their key strategy. Which should give attention to factors such as the re-dening of markets or the development of products and services. Even though Hangstefer`s view is partially consistent get back of Ansoff. Matching to Hangstefer Wm Morrison should attempt the standard product-market expansion options; by indicating a more innovative way would be for the business enterprise to employ a growth strategy involving lots of mixtures of factors. Hangstefer cited Manchester United PLC for example, which is the having company of the Manchester United Football Club. It offers pursued expansion opportunities related with their center business, as well as through new businesses, for instance Manchester United Merchandising and Manchester United Wedding caterers.

Boston consulting group (BCG ) development share matrix

The BCG matrix is a technique use for progress, especially for multi-divisional or multiproduct companies such as Wm Morrison supermarket. The organisations divisions and or products compromise the organization`s "business portfolio". The collection`s composition can be imperative to the development and achievement of the firm. The matrix looks at two variables, which are: market expansion rate and relative market share. The Matrix evaluates a firm's position regarding its products range. This will help Wm Morrison to consider its products and/ or services to make decisions pertaining to products and services that need to be kept or removed and extra investments it must make in furtherance to taking part completely nationally. Shown on the horizontal (y) axis is the market expansion rate while on the vertical (x) axis is the Comparative market talk about (Henderson, 1979).

The BC Group's Development Strategic matrix


Disaster sequence

Cash consumer

Cash neutral

Success sequence


Problem Children

(Question markings)

Large negative cash flow


Cash Cows

Large positive cash flow



Cash consumer

Modest cash flow


Relative Market Share

Adapted from Hedley (1977), p12

Wm Morrison may have to classify its products range in line with the quadrant in order to decide just how forward.

Question Grades (High growth/ Low relative market share)

These are Wm Morrison produce which grow quickly and as a result lead to high cash consumption, however they don't make enough cash since they have little market shares. The result is huge online cash spending. A question draw may hold the possibility to develop in market show and turn into a star, and finally a cash cow as soon as the market progress slows. It could grow to be a puppy when the market growth declines, if it doesn't develop to be a market leader. The business might need to analyse cautiously to choose if they merit the purchases it requires to growing market share. They are the strategies to adopt for question markings

Market penetration

Market development

Product development

These are all considerable strategies /or divestment


These will be Wm Morrison products that are seen as market leaders in high growth industries. However, it has to invest to sustain development also to protect the authority situation. Stars are normally only slightly lucrative but as they attain older position in their life pattern and development slows, proceeds grow to be more attractive. The stars provide foundation for long lasting growth and production.

The tactical options for stars may require integration, onward, backward and horizontal, Product development, Jv, Market penetration and Market development.

Cash Cows (Relatively high market talk about/ but Low growth rate)

Cash Cows are the more lucrative produce in the collection that must definitely be "milked". The problem is often been boosted by economies of range which could be there with market leaders. Cash Cows might be used to fund the operations in the other 3 quadrants. It really is enviable to maintain the strong stands up to practically. Product development concentric, diversification if the position weakens as a result of loss of market talk about or market contraction then options would include reduction of expenses (or even divestment)


Dogs comprise a low market show and a low growth rate and neither provides nor uses a huge amount of cash. Canines are however, cash traps since the cash locked up available that has little potential. Such products are applicants for divestiture.

Options are

Reduction of costs (if it is thought that maybe it's revitalised)


Divestment (if someone can buy)

It should however be noted that productive products may go from question symbol through to star, to Cash Cow and at last to Dog. Fewer flourishing products which never gain market position may move immediately from question tag to Dog (Hofer & Schendel, 1978)

Competitive Global business strategy

Wm Morrison supermarket can enter the global market segments by adopting Porter`s universal strategy which he mentioned that a firm should pursue either low cost strategy or differentiation strategy. Porter suggested that companies cannot pursue both strategies at exactly the same time but rather one at a time.

Cost Command Strategy focuses on attaining low costs relative to its rivals. Minimizing costs result to minimizing prices, that can raise demand for products and /or services, but if the product or services cannot be produced better value then it'll rather reduce profit margins. For Wm Morrison supermarket to contend on cost bases then it must address issues about overheads, materials, labour, and other costs, also to design a system that lowers the price per device of its service or product before coming into the global marketplaces. Often, the cutting down of costs requires extra investments in robotic facilities, equipments and employees skill.

On the contrary, Differentiation Strategy specializes in creating exceptionality products such that the firm's products and services are naturally distinguished from that of its rivals. In other words, the emphasis is on creativity and innovation which may have long been recognized as crucial for having the needed change to get the competitive benefits (Dean, 1998). The Porter`s competitive gain has given go up to Schuler and Jackson (1987) turn out with three competitive advantages strategies that Wm Morrison can take up to attain competitive benefit by getting into Quality enlargement, Cost decrease and technology.

Apart from Porter`s pronouncement of how to enter into global marketplaces, there are other means where Mw Morrison can type in global market for illustration, green field, acquisitions, joint projects, franchising, licensing, etc.

When building acquisitions, joint projects, franchising, licensing, etc. it is very important to discover a reliable partner. These strategies may necessitate a due diligence exercise in the global market segments in order to perform checks and balances to see how adequate the foreign companions may appeal to the needs of both firm and its customers.


McKinsey, (1980, p. 31) developed 7s model which Mw Morrison supermarket could take up to put into practice its strategies. This model will help the business to assess its strategies, framework, systems, skills, style, staff, synergy (shared principles) and where necessary improvement or changes can be made. The existing strategy of low priced, freshness and customer support (value), using its systems, structure, skills, shares ideals, style and personnel seem to be to be working effectively looking at the degrees of the business performance from the tactical evaluation done above. However, it is assumed that the new and proposed strategies will function correctly with other elements.


Skills Synergy style

Systems structure


Adopted from: "Structure ISN'T Business" (1980) "The Art of Japanese Management" (1981) "In Search of Excellence" (1982).

5. 1 Problems of strategy implementation

Wm Morrison`s strategy of competition currently is the utilization Porter's universal strategy based on low cost and market penetration which is Ansoff idea, however stretching this same technique to the national markets may draw in other competition to imitate it especially if they start to see the idea to be effective thereby they getting rid of their market show. On the other hand, the adoption of differentiation strategy may cause additional costs that may lead to the increment of the organisations total costs that they might not have much to invest.

The execution of green field, acquisition, jv, licensing, franchising, etc. , will no doubt change the existing business tactics. In conditions of 7s model, you will see so many problems with both markets entries, for example staff may withstand the thought of internationalisation and globalisation with the fear of burning off either their jobs, position, modification of working conditions. When it comes to skills, the company may have to institute an application to ensure the employees hold the require skills to meet the new strategies. The systems should be improved to meet the new demands and the framework will be changed.


In Johnson, Scholes and Whittington conditions of feasibility, acceptability and sustainability, the strategy of low cost seem more possible in the nationwide markets but it may well not be ecological since it can certainly be imitated by other opponents. It is not clear at this whether it'll be appropriate by the employees and the shareholders Johnson et al (1988). The other choices is to take up differentiation strategy that could be lasting since it is difficult to copy but this option may well not be appropriate given the excess costs it has to incur. Another option is the Ansoff (1991) matrix, to pursue new market strategy by using the existing products range to enter in the new market segments. Since this can be less dangerous than especially the new market strategy with the introduction of entirely services for new market segments.

Acquisition strategy concerning purchasing and controlling and existing market seem to be more simple for the global access since it is less high-risk, more receptive to the local customer, relating to the use of local experience, less costive compare to green field strategy of having to set up new factories to create. Franchising could also be use as another option, nevertheless the franchisee may gain helpings of the company`s profit and may even set up their own at some point resulting to a complete loss of the business enterprise to the franchisee. Licensing may cause less hazards to also use may be than even franchising.

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