Morrisons slashes price on thousands of products

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Morrisons could be set to trigger a supermarket price war as it slashed the price on thousands of every day products.

The supermarket is slashing an average of 18 per cent from 1,045 products – including hundreds of core grocery and dairy items.

The move comes as the chain’s chief executive David Potts said that the retailer had not seen any significant change in consumer behaviour since the Brexit vote and the recent hot weather.

Mr Potts said: “Since Brexit people have been expecting inflation to put prices up.

“So to reduce prices is a good thing and it is particularly helpful for families as the summer holidays get underway.

“The idea is that we do become more competitive over time. It is one of the priorities for the business.

“For our consumers, many of whom are on a budget, price is critically important.”

The price cut comes as Morrisons continues to turn the business around from a challenging few years during which time it lost market share and initiated a restructure.

The chain reports to the city next month and will be hoping to make it the third successive quarter in which it has reported growth.

“It is important we do our job,” he said.

“The idea that we might become more competitive is easier to write down but harder to achieve.”

Mr Potts also refused to rule out further price cuts and would not be drawn on whether he anticipated other stores firing the starting gun on price cuts

“That’s a question for them, isn’t. What’s important is we work with the grain of our own customers, it truly is. Our job is to work with the next step.

“You have to drive efficiencies, you have to drive productivity and work with the supply chain around volume to essentially justify further price cuts.

“It is important we concentrate on what we are doing and what our colleagues say and our customers say, rather than what our competitors say.”

The prospect of higher food prices was raised continuously during the EU referendum but Mr Potts was insistent that store activity had not altered in the six weeks since the leave vote.

“It is the unknown for British consumers. The weather has been much more of a dominant factor. We have not really discerned any change in consumer behaviour. Consumer activity in our stores hasn’t altered. Commercial activity post-Brexit I cannot comment on. We have guided to spend £400 to £450m a year on cap -ex, refurbishing stores and technology. We are pressing on with this.”