Morrisons Launches E-Commerce Strategy With Kiddicare Acquisition

Supermarket group Morrisons (LON:MRW) has acquired Kiddicare, the award winning multi channel online retailer, together with the rights to its highly regarded technology platform, for £70m. The acquisition is the first step in developing Morrisons online business. The group said it intended to build its online non-food business, developing the platform and management team, and launching its first products in 2012.

Kiddicare will continue to trade separately as, led by Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright, who will pursue an ambitious growth agenda. The business was, founded in 1974 by Neville and Marilyn Wright and is now one of the UK’s leading specialist online retailers of baby products. Turnover in the last 2010 financial year was £37.5 million and has grown by 75% in the past three years using leading web technology and picking software. Over 80% of sales are now through the online channel. The company owns a new state of the art freehold distribution facility and operates the largest baby nursery equipment retail store in Europe based in Peterborough, comprising 160,000 sq ft of warehouse, retail and office space.

Dalton Philips, the chief executive of Morrisons, said: “This acquisition brings not only a respected, successful and fast growing specialist retailer into the Morrisons group but also a robust, scalable and highly advanced technology platform around which we can begin to build our e-commerce offer. We are delighted to welcome Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright to Morrisons, along with their team. They are two of the most talented and respected operators of online retail today and their experience and track record with has been outstanding. Their knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as Morrisons builds its online business.”

The acquisition is subject to certain conditions which, if not satisfied by 23 March 2011, would allow Morrisons to terminate the agreement. The Morrisons share price closed last night at 275p.

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