Source: Morrisons

A total of 366 products will be sold ‘loose’ or in refillable containers

Morrisons has launched a ‘lower environmental impact store’ in Little Clacton, Essex, which features hundreds of loose and locally sourced products, and which will operate on 43% less emissions than a standard store.

The supermarket said the new store’s environmental initiatives and design elements “have the genuine potential to be scaled up and introduced across the Morrisons store estate – rather than being one-offs”.

The store will sell Morrisons’ widest range of no-plastic products – priced the same or less than their standard equivalents – which the supermarket said would allow customers to halve the amount of plastic in their weekly shop.

A total of 366 products – including 76 types of fruit & veg, baked goods, petfood and products from the meat, fish, deli counters – will be sold ‘loose’ or in refillable containers.

The store will also stock a “very wide range” of locally sourced products supplied from less than 35 miles away. The products have been sourced as part of Morrisons’ Nation’s Local Foodmakers programme and includes more than 250 local beers, spirits, fruits, vegetables, eggs, pies, breads, jams, teas, sauces, biscuits and crisps. The store will also be the first to trial Morrisons’ carbon-neutral eggs. Milk will be sold only in Tetra Pak, and the plastic packaging removed from multipack cans, with water being sold only in boxes and cans.

Customers are also able to purchase Too Good To Go ‘Magic Bags’ – containing £10 worth of fruit, veg, deli and bakery products for £3.09 – to prevent food waste.

The site itself – which has been “built from scratch” – features roof solar panels to provide a fifth of the store’s energy, rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing, a “near zero waste” back-of-house system, as well as facilities to recycle customers’ waste.

The store will have no gas supply and run solely on electricity, use air source heat pumps that take waste heat from fridges to heat the store and its hot water and fridges that use CO2 from agricultural waste instead of harmful HFCs.

The construction of the location was also environmentally sound, the supermarket added. Nearly all of the demolition materials from the old store were used in the new build. Outside the store, a wildlife area has been created to offer a home for birds, insects and small animals.

Online orders fulfilled from the Little Clacton store will be delivered using exclusively electric vehicles. In the car park, 20 electric vehicle charging stations are available for customer use, with several more for Morrisons staff.


Source: Morrisons

The car park will house 20 electric vehicle charging stations for customer use, with several more for staff

“This store is a significant step forward on our sustainability journey,” said David Potts, CEO of Morrisons. “It brings together all of the environmental and social initiatives we have created that can be rolled out into other stores across the country.”

The store will “start to inform the design of many more similar stores to come” Potts added.

Morrisons said the store a significant step on the supermarket’s “journey to becoming a more sustainable business”.

Morrisons plans to become net zero for operational emissions by 2035, in line with the international Paris Agreement. It has committed to a 50% reduction across its own brand primary plastic packaging by 2025, and aims to recycle all of the waste it creates by 2025.

The supermarket was given the go-ahead to demolish the old Little Clacton store in late 2020. The former Safeways store, which was built in 1996, was suffering from extensive cracking caused by the roots of nearby trees undermining the foundations.

“Unfortunately, part of the main building foundation suffers from structural subsidence, which is now causing some damage to the building itself,” the supermarket told shoppers last year. ”We have carried out significant maintenance work but in the longer term the best way to deal with this is to rebuild the store.” 

A temporary store had been operating in the car park since June last year, while the new store was under construction.