Morrisons prepares own-label range revamp

Morrisons: revamping own-label range
Morrisons: revamping own-label range

Morrisons is to begin a relaunch of its entire own-label offering in the coming weeks with the unveiling of an M Kitchen range, backed by a major pre-Christmas ad push.

Its Value range will be rebranded as M Savers, with a campaign scheduled for the New Year, when many shoppers look to make cutbacks.

Wm Morrison, a 'signature' of the supermarket's founder, is another addition, and will be used on products where the chain wants to flag up its century-old heritage.

One of the new sub-brands under consideration had been Live Well, which, alongside M Better For You, was a contender to replace its healthy Eat Smart range. However, after Sainsbury's launch of its 'Live well for less' slogan this month, it is expected to be dropped. Other changes still in the planning stages include M Kids, M Greencare and M Organic.

The M Kitchen range has been developed with executive chef Neil Nugent and will play a major part in the relaunch of Morrisons' ready meals next month. Stores have been freeing up space ahead of the activity for the new-look ranges.

The push comes after a year-long review of Morrisons' own-brands, after it admitted that they account for only 43% of sales; the figure is 50% or more for its major rivals.

Unlike its competitors, Morrisons has its own manufacturing arm, which means the shift toward own-label should provide greater margin gains.

Premium range The Best, originally a Safeway brand, is expected to be ditched. Experts believe its name implies that other Morrisons products are less than the best.

Group commercial director Richard Hodgson claimed this summer that Morrisons' own-label offer would be 'different to anything you've seen in the UK' after the overhaul.

The revamp comes as Tesco launched a £500m 'Big price drop' campaign this week, which is understood to be 80% focused on own-label.

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