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Morrison’s: Can’t match up to the discounters?
From November 2, 2015, Morrison’s will be making changes to its Match & More scheme. The program will no longer include Match points on comparable shopping. The scheme, which was introduced in October 2014, gained widespread coverage in the UK for its promise to match the discounters, Aldi and Lidl, on price or refund the difference in the form of points, with vouchers being issued once enough points have been accumulated. While the other major supermarkets in the UK have their own price promise schemes, none have been brave enough to taken on the big discounters.
As described in ‘Supermarket Price Wars: A response to the rise of discount retailers’, grocery retailers in the UK have been experiencing the effects of a noticeable shift in consumer behavior in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. Loyalty to supermarkets has been affected, with consumers more willing to shop around for their goods.
Supermarkets in the UK have responded with price wars. Price wars among the supermarkets in the UK have tended to take place as the retailers in the middle of the market compete against one another as a marketing tool in an attempt to drive customer footfall. Morrison’s was seen as unique in its offering by deciding to tackle the discount retailers head on. However, just one year later and the company has revoked this scheme. The company claims that under the new rules, customers will be able to gain more loyalty points. However, with the company agreeing to sell off its convenience stores in September 2015, it appears that Morrison’s may be struggling to compete with the growing force of Aldi and Lidl.