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Morrisons to join rivals in online grocery shopping space


Posted on 14/03/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

Morrisons could be about to create a number of logistics jobs after it announced that it would be setting up an online grocery store.

It is joining its rivals Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda in providing a facility whereby consumers can complete their shopping from the comfort of their own home before having their goods delivered direct to their doorstep.

Morrisons is rumoured to be enlisting the help of Ocado and could be looking at tapping into its expertise on technology, capacity and operations, according to reports.

The move comes after the company posted its first fall in profit in six years, with analysts blaming this on the fact that Morrisons has held off joining the other supermarket giants online. Like-for-like sales were also down by more than two per cent, leaving a pre-tax profit of £879 million for the 12 months to February 3rd.

The online food market is growing at over 15 per cent every year and could double in value to £11 billion over the next five years.
Speaking to the BBC, chief executive of Morrisons Dalton Philips said that the move to online was an "important step".

"The sustained pressure on consumer spending was reflected in our like-for-like sales performance, which was not as good as it should have been. We have implemented a range of measures to address this."

He told the Today programme that the supermarket has been studying the market for the past two years and has found that it is accelerating very quickly.

It is currently a time of transition for Morrisons, which recently announced that it would be opening 100 convenience stores in the coming months. It will add 12 M Local stores to compete against the likes of Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local.

In February, Morrisons agreed a deal to buy 49 Blockbusters stores after the video-rental retailer collapsed, along with further outlets from Jessops and HMV.

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