Supermarket group Morrisons has taken its first step into the e-commerce market – buying an online retailer of baby products.
Morrisons has lagged behind its high street rivals such as Tesco and Sainsbury which have developed sophisticated home delivery systems. But it reckons the takeover of Kiddicare will give it a flying start in the online market.
Kiddicare owns a new state of the art freehold distribution facility and operates the largest baby nursery equipment retail store in Europe based in Peterborough, comprising 160,000 square feet of warehouse, retail and office space.
Morrisons chief Dalton Philips said: “This acquisition brings not only a respected, successful and fast growing specialist retailer into the Morrisons group but also a robust, scalable and highly advanced technology platform around which we can begin to build our e-commerce offer.”
Morrisons intends to build its online non-food business, developing the kiddicare.com platform and management team, launching its first products in 2012.
It is paying £70m for the business which will continue to trade separately as kiddicare.com, led by Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright.
“We are delighted to welcome Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright to Morrisons, along with their team. They are two of the most talented and respected operators of online retail today and their experience and track record with Kiddicare.com has been outstanding. Their knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as Morrisons builds its online business,” said Phillips.