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Morrisons boss sending office staff to shop floor

The new boss of supermarket chain Morrisons is sending head-office staff onto the shop floor in a bid to improve communication with shoppers.

David Potts, who started work on Monday, told 2,000 office workers that he will be working in a store over Easter week and that he wanted them to do the same for at least one week each year.

He has urged workers at the Bradford-based chain to "listen hard" to customers and colleagues while they are on the shop floor as the company looks to reverse a period of falling sales and heavy annual losses.

I want to listen hard and respond to the views of as many customers and staff as I can.

I strongly believe that we are all retailers and we can learn how to serve our customers better when we are working in our stores or when we do our own shopping.

– David Potts, Morrisons

Mr Potts, who has more than 40 years retailing experience at Tesco, recently replaced Dalton Philips, who was ousted after leading the retailer since 2010.

The shop-floor initiative mirrors one put in place by new Tesco boss Dave Lewis before Christmas when he asked more than 4,000 employees including senior executives to stack shelves and operate tills.

Morrisons recently reported a loss of £792 million due to the lower value of its property estate while it posted a drop in like-for-like sales of 5.9%.

However, the sales trend improved in its most recent quarter with a decline of 2.6%.