Morrisons looks to online and new brand marketing as profits fall

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by Stephen Chapman

Morrisons has reported a fall in profits for the last 6 months, but believes the outlook is positive, with the arrival of online shopping from the start of next year.

The Bradford-based supermarket believes it can increase its accessible market by around 40% by developing a “substantial presence” in convenience and online channels.

Chief executive, Dalton Philips said that plans, for launch of are on target for a January 2014 launch:

“We’ve been working at pace on our online offer; the final pillar of our strategy. will be making home deliveries of our great fresh food by the end of January 2014, supported through our long term service agreement with Ocado.”

Philips added that loyalty marketing campaign, Pay Day Bonus, had proved “very successful” as had a new and refocused marketing campaign, which was supported by in-store communications. These included the new Market Street branding created by Elmwood in Leeds, which is expected to roll out nationally.

It also also looked to strengthen its own brand offering, along with the arrival of new children’s clothing brand, Nutmeg.

Morrisons' pre-tax profits fell to £344m for the last 6 months, compared to £440m in the same period last year. Turnover remained relatively static at £8.9bn, but like-for-like sales dropped by 1.6%. Its share price rose following the announcement of the results.