Morrisons is raising the profile of non-food with the launch of a new department called ‘At Home With Morrisons’.

Three new Morrisons stores have the department - Catcliffe, near Sheffield, Cribbs Causeway in Bristol and Barnsley - and it will be rolled out to other stores during 2004 and 2005.

At Home brings together Morrisons’ existing homeware ranges into a single area with a department store feel. This has been created through the use of new fixtures, such as glass shelving and wooden display units, impactful lighting and merchandising materials with lifestyle photography.

Joint MD Marie Melnyk said the retailer had spent the past 12 months “quietly chipping away” at its various homeware lines to improve their range, quality, value and presentation.

These include sub-brands such as its First Home range of affordable essentials, which has been rolling out for the past year, as well as its Cookshop and Dinetime ranges, which now feature striking new silver and blue labels.

At Home will also feature bedding, a new addition to the Morrisons range, as well as small electricals such as kettles and toasters, now in 100 stores.

“This is a collection of products previously dotted about the store,” said Melnyk. “Merchandising has been reviewed in order to improve product presentation and product authority.”

But she stressed: “We have not given any more space to it. We have made the space work harder and presented the product better. We are first and foremost a food retailer. This complements our food offer. It does not dominate it.”

Melnyk said the retailer had also been adding to its other non-food ranges. It has just launched its Complexions cosmetics range and its Home & Office stationery and computer consumables - including what she said was the sector’s first own label printer cartridges.

In addition, Melnyk said Morrisons had cut 3,000 prices as part of a review of its home and leisure business with no impact on quality. “Quality has improved in most cases,” she said. “We have spent 12 months working on non-food. We want to make sure again there is more reason to shop with us.”

That is the theme of the retailer’s newest marketing campaign ‘Reasons’, which builds on its famous advertising slogan by identifying the little things that set the retailer apart from its competition.

“We want to get over to potential customers that there are hundreds of reasons to shop at Morrisons,” said Melnyk. “We are happy to be different.”