WM Morrisons Supermarkets Plc headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK has a chain of more than 500 supermarkets selling groceries and food. It was established in the year 1899 by William Morrison and is considered the fourth largest supermarket in the UK. It also sells goods online. About 11 million people are estimated to shop every week from their stores while their online business covers 11 million households. The company is listed on London Stock Exchange under the symbol MRW.
William Morrison, who was engaged in egg and butter business, started the first stall in 1899 in Bradford Market that became an inspiration for him to expand into big scale retailing. The first market outlet with three checkouts was opened in 1958. It was the first one to have self- service and three checkouts.
It opened its first supermarket ‘Victoria’ in 1961 at Bradford converting a 5000 sq ft cinema hall. In 1967, it became a public limited company; in 1967, its share offer was oversubscribed 174 times with 80,000 subscribers applying for it. The company’s operations were taken over by Ken Morrison, son of William Morrison in 1952 at a young age of 21.
New Look stores
It has set a trend in supermarket design and offerings with its Morrisons Supermarket across the UK. They have free Wi-fi, daily laundry facility, comfortable cafes, more variety of snacks, sandwiches and salads, Halal meat, a Party Zone featuring all the items needed to create a party- helium balloons, sweets, drinks and decorations.
The new Colindale stores have a simple layout to help busy local families to shop and also have a market street section featuring trained butchers at work while meat and fish and can be observed by customers.
The online shopping was launched in January 2014 with technology from Ocado with a national rollout in the same year in Midlands. You can order a variety of groceries and food through www.groceries.morrisons.com. It has a large variety of products that are delivered at home.
Baby food, frozen food, drinks, bakery and cakes, beer, wine and spirits, pets, flowers, cosmetics, toiletries, household, and laundry among others. The registration process is simple and those with Morrisons More card can earn reward points on purchase. It has a range of specialized foods that are gluten free, meat free, sugar-free, milk-free .
Acquisitions & Tie-ups
Morrisons made its first acquisition in 1978 with Whelan Discount Stores that helped expand its business in Lancashire. In 2004, Morrisons became the 4th largest supermarket group with the acquisition of Safeway. It acquired an additional fresh produce packhouse and distribution center at Thrapston, Northamptonshire. In May 2005, it acquired Rathbone Bakery. In June 2011, it acquired Flower World thus becoming dominant in flower trading.
In February 2012, it acquired Winsford, a meat processing site in Cheshire. In July 2013, it acquired a banana ripening center in Boston, Lancashire thus improving its own manufacturing operations. With the installation of Amazon lockers in Morrisons supermarkets this year, customers can order through Amazon and take delivery at Morrisons stores without waiting for it be delivered at home.
Awards and Achievements
Morrisons joined FTSE 100 in April 2001 after 35 years of record sales and profits. In June 2013, it won the’ Employer of the Year Award’ for the fourth time at the Grocer’s Gold Awards Ceremony. It won several awards in 2015 –Café Quality Food and Drink Awards, International Wine Challenge Awards, Mot Sustainable Retailer of the Year. It had slashed prices of thousands of products in 2016 including meat, thus making it a favorite shopping destination for the common man.