Last month Rami Baitiéh, the former Carrefour France boss who became Morrisons' CEO in November, said he was not satisfied with the group's performance and was working on plans for improvement.

The rapid growth of the discounters since the financial crisis of 2008 has forced Britain's traditional chains to invest more heavily in value to try to protect their market positions.

Industry leader Tesco and No. 2 Sainsbury's have credited their Aldi price matching schemes for stemming the flow of shoppers to the discounters, which between them have grabbed a 17% share of Britain's grocery market.

No. 3 Asda launched a similar scheme last month.

Morrisons said that from Monday over 200 items would be price matched with the discounters, including essential items such as milk, corn flakes, canned tomatoes, rice, bread, beef mince, chicken fillets, bananas and carrots.

Prices will be checked twice a week and if necessary adjusted.

Morrisons, owned since 2021 by U.S. private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, differs from its main rivals in that it also has its own production operations and makes half of the fresh food it sells.

Baitiéh has said he will give a strategy update in March.

By James Davey