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Former Apple exec hired for Morrisons e-commerce drive

09 September 2011 - 10:08 by Graham Miller

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UK supermarket chain Morrisons has snapped up Simon Thompson to help push forward its plans to bring safe shopping online to customers across the country.

Mr Thompson was formerly a marketing executive at iPhone manufacturer Apple and so has a track record for succeeding in his industry. He will now head up the new Morrisons.com website in order to bring in customers who want to buy groceries online.

Morrisons is keen to train up a crack team of managers who will take its first ever e-commerce venture to the market in 2012 and hopefully snatch a niche in amongst established brands like Tesco and Sainsbury's.

A £4.8 billion valuation has been put on the e-commerce grocery market, which is roughly equivalent to three per cent of what UK consumers spend in total on food each year.

Within the next four years this amount is expected to double, with the growth of safe shopping online fuelled by lower prices, added convenience of delivery and a wider selection of retailers, thanks to Morrisons' arrival on the scene.

Morrisons has recently announced that its sales grew by 2.2 per cent in the first half of 2011, outpacing the forecasts made by market analysts and allowing it to take home pre-tax profits of £449 million, in spite of the unfavourable economic conditions.

As well as working on establishing its online presence, Morrisons has allegedly been in negotiations to snap up frozen food retailer Iceland, which has an established e-commerce delivery service.

Morrisons is getting its online grocery service off the ground by hiring top talent, training existing staff and buying companies with relevant experience, which could make it a formidable force once its service is made available to UK consumers at some point within the next year.