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Morrisons acquires online retailer

16 February 2011 - 09:44 by Simon Crisp

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UK supermarket chain Morrisons has bought Kiddicare, an e-commerce firm which specialises in the sale of products for babies and young children.

Morrisons paid £70 million for the firm and it is being seen as a major move in the company's attempts to establish itself as a retailer with a respectable portal for safe shopping online available to its customers.

Kiddicare has grown by 75 per cent since 2008 and it makes 80 per cent of its sales via its website, enabling it to become the largest independently financed firm of its kind in the UK.

Kiddicare started life in the early 1970s and it has taken full advantage of the e-commerce boom in order to grow into the powerhouse that it is today.

Morrisons released a statement in which it said that it will be hoping to launch its first e-commerce outlet at some point next year and it confirmed that it would not just be dealing with groceries but also other products.

More is expected to be learnt about the plans for Morrisons online expansion in March, when it expects to publish its financial figures for the past year.

The supermarket chain struggled to maintain its position during Christmas 2010 and it saw its market share drop by a tenth of one per cent, the first time it has fallen in four years.

By bringing its business into the e-commerce market and purchasing a firm which is experienced in the ways of safe shopping online, the supermarket is putting itself in a good position to catch up with rivals like Tesco and Waitrose, which have been providing online services for many years.

All major retailers have been feeling the pinch of reduced consumer spending and a strong online strategy seems to be the only way that many will manage to expand in 2011.