Morrisons launches online deliveries in the East

​Morrisons​ starts delivering ​online grocery orders in East Yorkshire this week as the Bradford-based grocer moves further into its Northern heartland​s.

The group, the UK’s fourth biggest grocer behind Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, said its yellow vans will deliver groceries to more than 148,000 homes across the wider Hull and Beverley areas as it rolls out the service across the UK.

To coincide with the Hull launch, Morrisons ​will roll out its chilled drink service today, offering cold beer, wine and soft drinks ​for doorstep ​delivery.

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This ​will be​ the first time an online retailer has offer​ed​ ​chilled drinks and Morrisons ​said the service is made possible ​thanks​ to ​its unique ​“​central pick model​”.

Morrisons ​said that many shoppers at its Holderness Road and Anlaby stores alread​y​ shop online with one of its rivals​ and they are expected to be among the first shoppers to sign up.

The​ group, which is working in partnership with Ocado​, said​ ​it hopes​ to maintain its existing 96​ per cent​ success rate for delivering on time and a product substitution rate of less than ​one per cent​ ​when​ it moves into Hull and Beverley.

​Customers will be able to book one-hour time slots and will be given the opportunity to check the freshness of the products before accepting them.

​​Simon Thompson, managing director online food at Morrisons, said: “We’re proud of our Northern heritage and are delighted to arrive in Hull.

“We want to challenge preconceived ideas of online grocery services by surprising shoppers with just how good an experience it can be with us.”​

​He added that the​ offer replicates many in-store services provided by the company’s Market Street butchers, bakers and fishmongers.

​He said that a virtual butcher enables customers to choose how thickly their steak is cut.

Orders will then be prepared by Morrisons’ Academy-trained butchers at its manufacturing sites.

Morrisons said it had been very encouraged by customers’ reaction to its online launch, which kicked off in ​other parts of ​Yorkshire earlier this year.

The grocer ​launched the service in London ​last month.​

​Morrisons is having to play catch-up with its three main rivals which have ​offered customers an online service for many years.

The group claims that while it is late to the party, its model is profitable and it can win back customers who shop online with rivals. It expects its online service to cover 50 per cent of the country by the beginning of 2015.