The news that Morrisons is really struggling has hardly come as a surprise.
There are probably a lot of reasons for this, not least the King Canute-esque refusal to follow industry trends (online shopping, convenience shopping over “big” shopping) until everyone else had it pretty much nailed.
But it’s also a failure of positioning, and another blow for those in an industry trying to occupy middle ground. Premium is an easy sell, as is budget, but if you’re trying to do a bit of both you risk missing everyone. I think Morrisons has done just this. A desire to not undersell the quality has made people confused about the value, but a desire to not undersell the value has made people confused about the quality.
People can’t be bothered with that, they’ll just go for something that doesn’t confuse them, largely instinctively.
And this kind of stretching to each end of the spectrum is happening in a lot of industries – sport, movies, video games. The big ticket stuff is still as big ticket as ever, and the niche stuff forms a long tail of interest, but the bits that try to do a bit of both are either struggling or no longer exist.