Morrisons goes live online aiming to deliver the goods

MORRISONS has launched its long-awaited online grocery website, with the first deliveries due to begin in January.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons

The Bradford-headquartered supermarket chain said it expects to be covering 50 per cent of the country by the beginning of 2015.

The company is initially launching deliveries in the Midlands on January 10 and said the service will be available in Yorkshire, namely the Leeds and Bradford areas, in February.

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Its next focus in the region will be on North Yorkshire around Harrogate and York. It will then launch in South Yorkshire and London in the middle of the year.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “This fresh food offer will be the closest thing on the internet to being in a store and selecting food yourself.

“Customers do have concerns about buying fresh food online and today we believe we’ve come up with the answer.”

Mr Philips previously admitted that Morrisons is late to the online market, but said it “wasn’t too late”.

Morrisons announced its tie-up with online delivery partner Ocado earlier this year, causing some controversy as Ocado delivers Waitrose food.

The 25-year-deal will see Morrisons use Ocado’s recently opened distribution centre in Warwickshire for deliveries through a Morrisons-liveried fleet.

Morrisons shoppers will be able to log on to the website via Facebook and a new deal with means they can download their favourites from Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Asda.

The shopping list will include customers’ usual branded goods and own brand goods will be substituted with the Morrisons’ equivalent.

Other initiatives include one-hour delivery slots, texts to say the name and licence plate of the driver and the promise of low substitutions as goods will be sourced from depots rather than the closest store.

Customers can turn down fresh goods they don’t like the look of and receive a full refund and a voucher for the price of the goods.

Simon Thompson, managing director for online food at Morrisons, said: “We have spent a lot of time with customers and that journey doesn’t stop here.

“We would love the customers to use the on-site feedback buttons to let us know how we can make our offer even better.”

Morrisons will offer a three-tier pricing structure. It will cost £1 for morning or lunchtime deliveries, £3 for later in the day and £5 for evenings.

The grocer will supply different coloured bags to differentiate food destined for the fridge, the freezer or the cupboard.

The website, which went live yesterday, features an animated butcher who will cut your steak to the exact width you want.

It also has a star rating so shoppers will be able to see the quality of the food, including fruit and vegetables.