Morrisons will finally enter the online food shopping market in January, after the retailer confirmed the new platform – backed by a £300m investment in technology – was “on schedule” in its latest half-year results.
The tie-up with Ocado was signed in May, and follows calls from the City to takes on the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose in the online market. Tesco dominates the sector, and has increased its marketshare in recent months. It now takes almost 50p of every £1 spent on online food shopping.
Morrisons made an initial payment of £170m to Ocado to acquire the firm’s Dordon centre, which will see it splash out a further £46m to expand the centre and establish a delivery network.
Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said: “Our strategy for growth in convenience and online is now set. We’ve been working at pace on our online offer; the final pillar of our strategy.
“Morrisons.com will be making home deliveries of our great fresh food by the end of January 2014, supported through our long-term service agreement with Ocado.”
However, it was not all good news for the retailer after it witnessed a decline in pre-tax profit from £440 million in 2012/13to £344m.
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