Marking its long awaited entry into online retailing, WM Morrison – the country’s fourth largest retailer by market share, announced its decision to buy Kiddicare – the online retailer for baby products, for £70 million.
Mr. Dalton Philips – the new chief executive of WM Morrison has charted out new strategies to expand the business of the supermarket chain and the acquisition will give it a technology platform and distribution network to launch its online non-foods business.
Morrison said it was the “first step in developing Morrison’s online business”.
Kiddicare is the largest privately held nursery and baby-care supplier in the UK and serves more than 40,000 customers per month. Revenue was recorded at £37.5 million in 2010, a growth of over 75 percent for three years in a row. The company revealed that 80 percent of its revenue comes from its online business.
There has been some speculation in the market off late about Morrison’s internet business strategy, a domain where it has no presence unlike its rivals. However, the company in a statement said today that “we will give more details on our internet strategy when we release our preliminary 2010-11 figures next month”.
The latest deal come on the back of a few difficult months when it lost market share to rivals in the run up to Christmas. According to data available, for the first time since 2007, Morrison’s market share went down to 12% from 12.1% in the twelve weeks to November 26, ’09.