Change at the top for Waitrose

Mark Price's stepping down as managing director of Waitrose has raised eyebrows in the supermarket sector.

15-10-22-price-634

The resignation of Waitrose's Mark Price has raised eyebrows

A change in senior management at the John Lewis partnership "is rather like the regeneration of Doctor Who", said Conlumino's Neil Saunders a rarity. So Mark Price raised eyebrows this week when he stepped down as Waitrose's managing director after almost a decade at the helm. He also quit his role as deputy chairman of the John Lewis partnership, where he has worked for 33 years. He is applying to become chairman of Channel 4.

What the commentators said

So how did Price do it? For starters, "he never stopped thinking like a customer", said Ben Wright in The Daily Telegraph, often visiting shops and talking to customers. Moreover, he understood Middle England's "conflicting neuroses": it wants to eat ethically, but at the same time it doesn't want to pay too much. He managed a "tightrope-walking act": Waitrose matches Tesco on 8,500 products, thanks to its lower-cost Essentials line, but it also sells more lobster than its rivals.

Waitrose is certainly doing much better than Tesco, Asda, Morrison's or J Sainsbury, noted Kasmira Jefford in City AM. Only the latter posted an uptick in sales in recent weeks, according to new figures from Kantar Worldpanel. And sales growth at the discounters has picked up again. It's going to be a brutal Christmas in the supermarket sector.

Recommended

Will energy prices go down in 2023?
Personal finance

Will energy prices go down in 2023?

Wholesale gas prices are on a downward trajectory, but does this mean lower energy bills later this year?
27 Jan 2023
Which house-price index is the best?
Property

Which house-price index is the best?

Britain is obsessed with house prices, and we have at least four house-price indices to choose from to measure the rate of increase in the value of ou…
27 Jan 2023
When will interest rates go up?
UK Economy

When will interest rates go up?

New interest rates will be announced on 2 February – we look at what to expect.
26 Jan 2023
The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100
Income investing

The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100

Rupert Hargreaves takes a look at the companies with the highest dividend yields in the UK’s blue-chip index
23 Jan 2023

Most Popular

Council tax increases 2023 – how much more will you pay?
Tax

Council tax increases 2023 – how much more will you pay?

Your council tax bill will go up in April - we reveal the councils that have confirmed what this year’s increase will be.
23 Jan 2023
Will energy prices go down in 2023?
Personal finance

Will energy prices go down in 2023?

Wholesale gas prices are on a downward trajectory, but does this mean lower energy bills later this year?
27 Jan 2023
Share tips of the week - 27 January 2023
Investments

Share tips of the week - 27 January 2023

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages
27 Jan 2023