Morrisons to make grand entry to online shopping world

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MORRISONS’ online shopping service will cover 50 per cent of the population by the end of January 2015, with plans to sign up a million new customers a month as part of an ambitious launch schedule.

The Bradford-based grocer unveiled its plans to investors in London yesterday, showing how it hopes to use Ocado’s delivery expertise and its strong position in fresh foods to steal customers from its big three rivals – Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

At the moment nearly a third (32 per cent) of Morrisons’ shoppers shop online at its rivals, giving the grocer an enormous market to target.

It added that the amount spent by the multi-channel (PCs, tablets, smartphones) shopper is double that of the store shopper.

The grocer is launching its online business from a standing start via a technology tie-up with Ocado, after its absence from the web market was partly blamed for slowing sales.

Chief executive Dalton Philips unveiled what Morrisons claimed will be a unique web offering.

“We are late to the party, but I am confident we can make quite an entrance,” he said.

Customers will pay £1, £3, or £5 for deliveries, depending on the time of the day, and each order must be worth at least £40.

Morrisons-trained Ocado drivers will deliver to homes within a one-hour time slot chosen by customers, using yellow Morrisons vans bearing the slogan “From market street to your street”.

The supermarket will offer a “refund and replace” promise so customers can check the fresh food and send it back with the driver without paying for it, while also receiving a voucher for its value. The pledge is designed to address the annoyance felt by customers when they receive poor quality fresh food.