Morrisons more multi-channel than you think

Amazon is a major worry to many retailers because it operates on a completely different planet to virtually any other retailer.

Amazon: No ordinary retailer
Its shareholders have long become accustomed to its objective of growing its market share in an increasing array of categories with almost disregard for margins and absolute complete disregard for earnings per share.

This has been tough to fight against for traditional retailers. But maybe a paradigm shift in the way other retailers operate is taking place. This certainly seems to be the case at Morrisons.

It might be undergoing an ongoing onslaught of pressure from the media and investors about its lack of progress with its internet operations. Outwardly this appears somewhat justified (Ocado joint-ventures aside) but internally it seems great progress is being made.

This is coming from its Kiddicare business that is doing far more for the £17 billion grocery chain than simply giving it a growing share of the baby and kids market.

Scott Weavers-Wright: Teaching an old dog new tricks
Led by its founder and CEO Scott Weavers-Knight this predominantly online business is acting like a great breath of fresh air that’s running through Morrisons and helping change its mindset towards one that is more suited to the digital world.

Just consider what he stated at the Retail Week Live 2013 event in London this week about the new Kiddicare stores that are currently being opened.

“They have not got their own P&L [Profit and Loss] as we’re not bothered about them being profitable as long as the overall [multi-channel] business is profitable. If the group makes money then we’re not particularly fussed about the individual stores. An individual channel does not need to make money,” he says.

This is a radical way for a major grocer to think but the fact that they are giving Weavers-Wright the freedom to bring in this sort of mindset at Morrisons highlights how the group’s senior management appear willing to adopt new ways of running its business.

And the fact that much of this new thinking is being adopted around the business (as Weavers-Wright’s influence spreads) suggests the grocer has maybe progressed a little further down the multi-channel route than many people have been giving it credit for.