Developing competitive advantage through customer service
A Morrisons case study

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Page 1: Introduction

unp-wm-27085-tamworth-02Morrisons was founded over 100 years ago, as a stall in Bradford market. It has been a family business for most of the time since. Under Sir Ken Morrison’s 55-year leadership, until he retired in 2008, the company grew steadily ‘from market stall to superstore.’ With over 450 stores, it is now the UK’s fourth largest food retailer.

Differentiating the business

Amongst the large supermarkets, several features make Morrisons stand out and differentiate it from competitors. By promoting its ‘fresh approach’ and commitment to sustainability, customers become aware of the freshness of its food and its concern for the environment. Morrisons holds great control of its supply chain known as the ‘field to fork’ approach. As a result it possesses more control over the quality of its produce.

This helps create a competitive advantage. Fresh produce is sourced locally wherever possible, which is then processed in Morrisons’ own manufacturing facilities. Fresh produce is delivered into its own temperature-controlled warehouses and packing plants in the UK and abroad. Produce is then carefully transported to stores nationwide. This vertical integration allows Morrisons to support local producers and UK farmers.

Achieving competitive advantage

Morrisons employs more specialist butchers, fishmongers and bakers than any of the other UK leading supermarkets. Morrisons’ fresh and innovative business focus is reflected in its approach to recruitment. In 2010 it employed more than 131,000 people who served over 11 million customers each week. It offers career opportunities in a variety of areas including logistics, manufacturing, specialist trades, IT, marketing and finance.

Morrisons prides itself on its dedicated approach to career advancements through its ‘shop floor to top floor’ approach. Morrisons is passionate about creating careers for fresh new talent. This is reflected in its aim to attract 1,000 new young people to join the team next year. Morrisons won the Employer of the Year Award at the 2011 Grocer Gold Awards. This demonstrates the focus it places on colleagues and their ability to deliver fresh produce and exceptional customer service.

This case study shows how Morrisons uses customer service to differentiate itself from its competitors, motivate its colleagues and help the business to grow.

Morrisons | Developing competitive advantage through customer service