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Death of retailer

Supermarket veteran Sir Ken Morrison dies

MorrisonsSir Ken Morrison, who retired in 2008, has died peacefully at home in North Yorkshire, aged 85, following a short illness, his family has said.

He joined Morrisons after his National Service in 1952 and four years later became chairman and managing director.

He opened its first supermarket in 1961 in Bradford where the company is still based.

In 1967 he led it to a stock market flotation and in 2004 bought the Safeway supermarket chain for £3 billion.

He was never afraid to voice an opinion and criticise those who he felt were making mistakes in running the business after he stepped down.

Commenting on former CEO Dalton Philips’ turnaround plan, he said: “The results were described by the chairman and chief executive as ‘disappointing’. I personally thought they were disastrous.”

He never entertained management consultants, saying once: “If you don’t know how to run your own business, it’s time to give up, isn’t it?”

However, he was also criticised for being too slow to respond to current changes in the market, particularly the move by his rivals into the convenience sector.

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