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Morrisons has a slogan: that it is the "food specialist for everyone". Outgoing chief executive Mark Bolland last month told Management Today that every word counted.
“We're specialists”, he said. Everyone is trained and then after three years, trained again. At his Wimbledon store, he took the MT reporter around to meet the experts. A fishmonger was sent away to find a fresh salmon, which was to be filleted in store. The baker said they made most of the 130 varieties of bread in store. His carrots all came from company farms. The neater ones were put in premium bags. The bigger ones in value packs. The broken ones were used as pig feed.
"We're the most vertically integrated of any supermarket," said Mr Bolland. It is what makes Morrisons different. It also does not make sense to the City analysts and is not an easy model to copy.
My nearest Morrisons is a long drive away so I know the chain only by reputation. What seems to make it different is its commitment to train people with real skills, not as a boutique add on, but at the heart of its stores. It has the look of a dangerous competitor but also one that will help shoppers value skilled staff.
When did you last take some training? Do you retrain your staff every three years? There could be a benefit if you can identify an area where shoppers will value your expert knowledge in their local shop.
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