Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced price cuts on 1,200 essential products in a bid to win back market share.
The permanent reductions are across a range of Morrisons own label products and brand name (40%) items found in most families’ shopping baskets.
With an average 17% reduction across the board, some products will see price cuts as high as 60%. Huggies Wipes, for example, will fall from £2.49 to just £1. A loaf of Hovis Best of Both will now be £1, down from £1.35, Morrisons British Butter is £1, 33% off the original £1.49 price, and Jammie Dodgers will fall 55% to 49p.
“Morrisons is now cheaper. We are cutting prices not corners. We are making great food even more affordable and, in doing so, giving more reasons for customers to shop with us,” said Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons.
All the ‘big four’ UK supermarkets – Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – have been losing out to the rising popularity of both discount and premium stores. Aldi’s sales in particular have risen more than a third (35.3 per cent) in the last year, while Morrisons alone is reported to have lost 3.8 per cent in sales.
Market speculators have suggested that Morrisons's reductions will now trigger a price war between the supermarkets. But, as the BBC has pointed out, these cuts only show Morrisons coming into line with the rest of its direct rivals, rather than beating them: the Huggies Wipes mentioned above, for example, are already available for £1 in Tesco and Asda, and are on offer in Sainsbury’s.
However, unlike Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s – all of which have come under scrutiny in the past for confusing and often conflicting price cuts and deals – Morrisons is accompanying this round of reductions with a new commitment to full price transparency.
This month, the supermarket will launch a new website powered by search champions mysupermarket.co.uk. Customers will be able to view the price history of each item, in an attempt by the ‘fresh-led grocer’ to reassure them that they are getting true value for money.
“We’re serious about getting cheaper and setting new standards in transparency of pricing. We want our customers to be proud of the products they buy and be reassured that they are cheaper,” Philips added. “We have nothing to hide.”