Morrisons online debut set for 2014 as sales take a dip

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Morrisons has announced that it will launch an online grocery operation by January 2014 and is looking to enlist Ocado to help it do so.

The Bradford-based retailer said this morning that it was in talks with online grocer Ocado that “may lead to an agreement to license certain of Ocado’s intellectual property and operating knowledge for the purpose of Morrisons commencing an online grocery business in the UK”.

However Morrisons refused to give any details of what model it would be using for its online debut and said it was not dependent on the outcome of the Ocado talks as “there is no certainty that an agreement will be reached”.

CEO Dalton Philips denied the talks with Ocado indicated that it had not learnt enough about launching a profitable online grocery business from its tie-up with US-based online retailer FreshDirect. Morrisons paid £32m for a 10% stake in the New York grocer two years ago and has had a team embedded there for the last 18 months.

“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” - Dalton Philips, Morrisons

The announcement came as Morrisons reported a 2.1% fall in like-for-like sales for the year to 3 February. Pre-tax profits fell 7.2% to £879m.

Morrisons said stores converted to its new Fresh Format were continuing to perform to plan. It has converted more than 100 so far and will transform a further 100 this year. It has also revised upwards the number of convenience stores it plans to open by the end of the year from 70 to 100.

“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,” said Philips. “We have implemented a range of measures to address this and are making good progress in improving our promotional effectiveness and in communicating our points of difference.”

He also said trading this year would remain tough with Morrisons expecting to see a 1% fall in like-for-like sales.

ANALYSIS: The 10 questions Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips needs to answer

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Grocer jobs Experts in FMCG

Search jobs
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

Free

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer

DIRECTORY

The+Grocer+Directory

CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.

FOLLOW THE GROCER

The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers