Morrisons eyes online wine sales as profits dip09 September 2012
UK supermarket Morrisons is to make its first foray into online grocery with the launch of its new Cellar range later in this year.
Morrisoncellar.com will sell cases and half cases of wine and will be seen as an attempt to take on Majestic Wine. The UK wine market is worth £1.7 billion a year according to CGA Strategy.
The move comes after Morrisons reported a 0.9% dip in underlying sales in the six months ending 29 July. Profits were down £9 million to £440 million.
Morrisons will focus its expansion in southern England where the firm’s market share is smaller than in its northern England stronghold.
The new stores include Morrisons new ‘M local’ convenience format which will be launched in London before being rolled-out across the UK. But with challenging market conditions expected to persist, the company has reduced its store expansion programme by a third as part of a £100 million cost reduction programme.
"With ongoing commodity inflation continuing to weigh on already fragile consumer confidence and market conditions becoming ever more challenging, we have had to work even harder for our customers during the first half," said Sir Ian Gibson, Morrisons’ chair.
Morrisons' shares were up 3% on the news as investors reacted positively to reduce spending on new stores.
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