Source: Morrisons

It is in talks with independent retailer Tom McAvoy about converting to a Together With Morrisons partner 

Morrisons could soon be launching in Northern Ireland for the first time, following talks with independent retailer Tom McAvoy about becoming a ‘Together with Morrisons’ partner.

McAvoy, who owns a 16,000 sq ft Nisa Extra store in Rathfriland, started stocking products from the supermarket about three years ago.

While he was still contracted with Nisa, Morrisons was now his biggest supplier, providing 20% of his stock, he said. The rest was sourced from local suppliers or made by the retailer.

McAvoy explained he currently organised the logistics with third-parties to collect the Morrisons stock from its depots and then back to his store, including with HMT Shipping. Morrisons said it was working on a “more sustainable solution”.

These products, however, currently only span ambient and frozen due to the complex trading rules with moving fresh goods, including meat and dairy, from GB to Northern Ireland.

Since October, these high-risk products that are intended to be sold north of the border must have new ‘not for EU’ labels, which is a requirement that comes as a cost for business. McAvoy said he was still in negotiations with Morrisons about who would absorb these costs.

He said he hoped to be officially partnered with the supermarket and trading under the Together with Morrisons banner by the end of the year.


Source: Tom McAvoy

Tom McAvoy’s store is currently branded Nisa Extra

“Morrisons is one of the big four, and we’re hoping to tap into all of the benefits that come with that,” said McAvoy. “Having the brand stamped above our store door would give us a big point of difference in Northern Ireland, and access to better pricing.”

Morrisons said it was providing stock to other retailers in Northern Ireland as well, and was “always looking for ways to grow wholesale”.

The move would mark the first Morrisons store to open in the province. It acquired a tranche of Northern Irish stores as part of its takeover of Safeway in 2003. However, it did not integrate these into its own estate and subsequently sold them to Asda in 2005.