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Sir Ken Morrison dies age 85

Sir Ken Morrison, will be remembered as the man who converted his father’s grocery chain of small stores into one of the biggest retailers in the UK after kicking the bucket at 85 years of age. Morrison’s family reported that he died peacefully in his home in North Yorkshire following a brief illness.

Morrison a proud Yorkshireman during his lifetime was respected highly as one of the top guns in the retail world due to his no-nonsense shopkeeping approach. Also renowned for his stinging wit, Morrison told former boss (who stalled business even after modernizing the chain by adopting the Internet and moving into convenience stores) Dalton Philips, that his strategy was nonsensical.

Morrison didn’t have the time for modern fancies like online retailing, but purchased abattoirs, pie-making factories, and vegetable packing sheds as a move to keep waste to a minimum.

From the date (1967) when the company became part of the London Stock Exchange, it recorded nearly four decades of uninterrupted profit and sales growth.

The business was a reliable, regional player which almost grew entirely under its steam until Morrison bought rival Safeway chain back in 2004. This move took Morrison’s business into the south of England making it the fourth largest grocer in the UK.

It also marked the start of a period of dwindling at the chain, as it struggled to combine two different businesses. This lead to a number of boardroom battles that led to Morrison’s retirement back in 2008. As at that time the company had 375 stores, serving 9 million customers weekly.

The current chairman of the company, Andrew Higginson, following Morrison’s death said:

“I know I speak for the company when I say how sad we all were to hear of Morrison’s death. He was inspirational as a leader who stood as a driving force behind Morrisons growth for more than half a century. Though he retired a few years back, his legacy stands it is evident each day in every aspect of the business”.

Sir Ken’s family said:

“Sir Ken was, a unique figure when it comes to the history of retailing in the UK, an honor he achieved after over half a century as the driving force behind the growth of Morrisons from two market stalls into one of UK’s largest retailers ever.

But to us, he will be remembered as a loving and greatly committed family man, as central and inspirational to us in our lives daily as he was in business. His ambition, drive and quick intelligence along with encyclopedic knowledge were unmatched.”

A proud Yorkshireman, Morrison never forgot his roots. He had real love and commitment to Bradford city and its residents. We are sure he will be missed greatly.

Amazon Go

Amazon has just released news of real world shops they are looking into launching, no longer are they just sticking to the online market. They are setting their eyes on the supermarkets and convenience stores but Amazon intends to make it even more convenient than ever before…

Amazon Go Store

So, what is Amazon Go? Amazon Go is a physical store that you can walk into. Once you walk through the doors you simply scan your smartphone amazon go app barcode on the scanner to let you. While you’re in the store you can pick up anything you want to buy and the app will automatically recognise what you’ve selected. Even if you change your mind and put it back on the shelf, the app will recognise what you’ve done then automatically remove it from your apps ‘Basket’.

They call it “Just Walk Out” technology, it allows you to just walk out of the store and amazon automatically charges you for what you’ve taken via your Amazon account. They mention that they use Computer Vision, Deep learning algorithms and Sensor Fusion like you’d find in self-driving cars. All things that the majority of us don’t have a clue what it means.

Imagine it though? No more lines, no more awkward conversations at the checkout and even if you went to self-checkout no more annoying ‘Item not recognised in the baggage area’. One thing springs to mind, How do they deal with products that need you to be over 18 to purchase? Then again how does any of it work would be the real question.

Currently they only have one store open near its headquarters in Seattle and it’s only available to Amazon employees. So for us the main question is, will it be coming to the UK for the public? Well Amazon have not said much about it however they have registered a UK trademark suggesting they do intend to bring it to our side of the pond.

So what do you think of all this? Do you like how convenient it will be or are you more worried about the potential job losses it could cause and the continued dependence we put on technology? Either way, Isn’t this the future?

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December 9, 2016 @ 8:27 PM
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