Saturday, October 21, 2017

Retail Gazette Loves: Sir Ken Morrison

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Sir Ken Morrison

The retail industry is still reeling from the loss of an industry legend.

Sir Ken Morrison was a man respected not only his inherent talent for business, but for his sharp wit and straight-talking manner.

Morrison was known for dismissing the idea of both a divide between the north and south, and between socio-economic classes:

“I don‘t even know what a middle-class shopper is.”

“Southern shoppers like to think they are sophisticated, don’t they? But they’re not. There’s not so much difference down there.

“They say poor people need a bargain. Wealthy people appreciate one.”

Despite his forward-thinking views on UK shoppers, his view often favoured more traditional values.

“I‘m not into women‘s lib and that sort of thing.”

(On home deliveries) “I started my career doing that [on a bicycle] and I don‘t intend to do it again.”

(On Internet Shopping) “I don‘t think it is awfully relevant. People like to smell and see their food before they buy it.”

Perhaps most famously was his scathing analysis of former Morrisons boss Dalton Philips‘ business strategy at the Morrisons AGM in 2014, during tough times for his company:

“The results were described by the chairman and chief executive as ‘disappointing‘. I personally thought they were disastrous.

“When I left work and started working as a hobby, I chose to raise cattle. I have something like 1,000 bullocks and, having listened to your presentation, Dalton, you‘ve got a lot more bullshit than me.”

And of course, he was always a proud Yorkshireman:

“If in doubt, have a cup of tea.”

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