joe morris

Source: Arms Innovations

Joe Morris, the brother of Home Bargains founder Tom Morris, has stepped down after 22 years as a director to launch an automated warehouse business.

Morris served as operations director at Home Bargains for more than two decades before becoming director of innovation early in 2021.

This month, he stepped down to focus on Arms Innovations, borne out of a warehouse solution developed internally for TJ Morris, which trades as Home Bargains.

Morris said he had the blessing of his brother Tom – TJ Morris MD and owner – in taking Arms Innovations to market, “with the goal of helping other retailers to source and run highly automated distribution centres and manage and maintain their assets”.

He will continue to work for TJ Morris for one day a week to finalise its third, highly automated DC, at Warrington. “This will be one of the most highly automated distribution centres in the UK,” Morris said.

During his tenure, Morris acted as a spokesman for the business and played a key role in growing it from a 50-store business to one with 600 branches, an annual turnover of £3.3bn and profits of £400m last financial year.

“As well as running the stores, a key area of development for me was the application of technology across the business, in particular automation within our DCs,” Morris told The Grocer. “Going back almost 20 years ago, TJ Morris was one of the first UK retailers to use automation in its DCs.

“Prior to re-joining my brother Tom at Home Bargains, I had spent 20 years in industrial automation as an engineer, working in robotics, so automating our DCs was very natural to me.”

TJ Morris is the first user of Arms Innovations, which provides software to help maintain  DCs and stores.  It offers a quality management system for project management and asset life cycle management, professional services to help retailers source and run automated DCs and manage assets, and on-site engineering teams.