Morrisons dip partly blamed for no web sales

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It’s the week before Christmas, you’re still at work and run off your feet trying to buy your last Christmas presents. Do you really want to trot down to Morrisons and spend two hours doing your Christmas food shopping or would you prefer to order it online from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose or even M&S?

It appears that for many the answer was let’s do it online, at least that’s the conclusion of Morrisons’ CEO Dalton Philips. I heard him on the BBC News saying that the majority of his customers weren’t interested in shopping online and he’s right, only about 5% of grocery sales are ordered on the net. That’s still a significant slice of business though.

Morrisons sales were down 2.5% in the run up to Christmas and whilst you can’t attribute all of the drop in sales to customers choosing to order elsewhere online, one does wonder how much extra online shoppers would have spent with Morrisons if delivery options were available.

It’s no secret that the profits from online sales are nowhere near as good as those from purchases made instore. Setting aside impulse purchases and the ability to see just how much you’ve spent before you get to the checkout, the costs of delivery, especially within a set hourly slot, are pretty steep. Shoppers in store are much more attractive to the bottom line.

Dalton Philips insists that it’s not too late for Morrisons to get transacting online and points out that not only have his competitors not managed to turn a profit from web customers, but that there are some last mover advantages as Morrison can learn from the best of their competitors.

The fact remains though that the trend in shopping is to use the web. General sales in the high street were up a miserly 1.5% in December according to the BBC, whilst general online sales were up 17.8%. Not to start offering online shopping in the near future would start to look like a big mistake.

12 Responses

  1. I think a lot of dog people stopped shopping there as their Christmas advert showed a dog being fed a mince pie or a christmas pud by a child at the dining table.
    The raisins etc in those can kill a dog – in spite of a huge campaign by Dogs Today magazine they still never apologised for their error.
    Lots of dog owners stopped shopping there.

  2. Yet another retailer blaming online for poor performance over Christmas.

    Never mind banging on about that get on with sorting out your stores, Morrisons seem to employ all the miserable people, either that or it is a miserable place to work and that’s just for starters!

    I am not sure online supermarket shopping will ever be big, I read an article that said that as many people sign up there is as many people dropping off using online for food shopping. I don’t see it is ever going to be big business.

  3. We spend a lot of time in Morrisons and know some of the staff quite well. Many were openly encouraging customers to complain about staffing levels in 2012 (obvious to anyone) and goods that were being put back on the shelves, despite it being mouldy or out of date. We did this and it was claimed in response that everything was fine.

    For instance, my partner uses vanilla extract in her puds and used to use Morrisons own. One day I pointed out to her that it looked dark, and she opened it and smelt it. Pure alchohol and no vanilla anywhere near it. It had fermented. We went back, checked the shelf and the whole batch was like this. We complained and various managers and staff agreed and took it off the shelf, only for the store manager and the buyer to claim it was fine and put it back again. Eventually it was removed and hasn’t been seen since. The store manager was fired, although not for that reason.

    Part of Morrisons problem is not moving with the times, no ordering website and they don’t do 24hr opening either, the other part is their attitude to customer complaints. We wouldn’t go as far as not shopping there, it’s close, we know the staff, the cafe is the best of the big four, but they will lose customers if they have a management attitude that stinks.

  4. I heard a while ago that Morrisons were planning to get into online sales. I wish they would, I used to shop there all the time, but it’s an awkward journey trafficwise for me now so I only go maybe 2-3 times per year! I get 90% of my food delivered now!

  5. I think a lot of dog people stopped shopping there as their Christmas tv advert showed a dog being fed a mince pie or a christmas pud by a child at the dining table.
    The raisins etc in those can kill a dog – in spite of a huge campaign by Dogs Today magazine they never apologised for their errro and kept showing the ad. Even with vets telling them it was wrong!
    I have read that lots of dog owners stopped shopping there.

  6. I like Morrisons to shop at food wise however found myself at Sainsburys this year as my Local store was shut at 8:30pm (in Manchester not exactly the sticks) I was surprised they had shut so early. I am not sure whether it is my fault for expecting such places to be open to at least 10pm or theirs for not meeting my and other customers expectations!

  7. I regularly buy my groceries online, from Tesco and (latterly) from Sainsburys. It’s more than convenient: it’s essential for cramming in that little bit of family time at the weekend. I also love Morrisons – I like the food, the packaging, the price, the whole deal. I would DEFINITELY be an early adopter if they launch online. Good news that they’re even acknowledging the Internet’s existence!

  8. I trend towards Ocardo / waitrose as I can’t bear listening to the staff chattering in the local budget stores. That said I used to get my lunch from Sainsburys until their apparent policy of employing a hands on car wash with illegal immigrants . I am exasperated with the constant badgering by them as soon as one gets out of the car. Then once you get in, you are hit by people flogging credit cards. I now avoid the place

  9. Time after time we have said if Morrisons were online then we would do all our shopping with them.
    My sisters did their Christmas shopping in store and were in queues for over an hour and it wasn’t peak times. The staff were handing customers cups of tea and biscuites.
    If i do ever do any of my shopping there then i always have to wait to be served. My time is important to me and not important enough to get in a queue for food. This is why i shop elsewhere, come on Morrisons get with the times!

  10. Astonishing to think a chain like Morrisons are competing with an online store, especially when you see how much success Tesco and Asda have gained from going online. Will be interesting to see how the respond to this.


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