STRUGGLING YORKSHIRE supermarket Morrisons is launching an extensive price slashing campaign in a bid to steer the company back in to success.
The Bradford-based chain will cut the prices of 135 products today - with some prices slashed by as much as 41 per cent.
The cuts come as the supermarket battles to keep up with its rivals, against the backdrop of a 7.1 per cent decline in quarterly sales and a loss of £176 million in the year to February.
The chain also confirmed that it is consulting on redundancies in its property division as it scales down the number of new supermarkets it builds - on top of 2,600 job cuts announced last week as part of a drive to modernise the way its stores are managed.
Morrisons launched 1,200 price cuts in May. The latest cuts will see an average reduction of 14 per cent, and include an even split of named and own-brand products, including savings of 29.1 per cent on Morrisons plum tomatoes, cutting 50p from the price of Flash Spray Bleach, and slashing more than 40 per cent from a eight pack of Rocky Bars.
Chief executive, Dalton Philips said: “We are making a real difference to the cost of the weekly family shop by reducing prices on products that our customers use regularly. These are permanent price cuts, not promotions, and they won’t be the last.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, food prices dropped by 0.6 per cent in May, the first annual price fall since March 2006, which commentators put down to fierce cuts by the major supermarkets in an effort to fend off competition from discount retailers like Lidl and Aldi.
Morrisons is also looking to its M local convenience stores to help it recover. Despite the 2,600 management jobs facing the axe, it will create 1,000 jobs in the convenience stores.
A spokesperson for the company said the latest redundances were in line with its plans.
He said: “We are consulting about 18 potential redundancies in the property department. We have already identified six roles as potential redeployment opportunities and we continue to work with other affected people. We said last year that Morrisons would be building fewer supermarkets and more convenience stores and this is about reorganising around those priorities as well as being more efficient.”
The company’s poor performance led former chairman Sir Ken Morrison describe Mr Philips’s strategy to drag the supermarket into the 21st century as ‘’****shit’’ at the supermarket’s AGM earlier this month.
And in April, the chain’s former group property director Roger Owen compared the grocer to “a supertanker heading towards an iceberg” in an extraordinary attack in The Yorkshire Post.