In Brief

Morrisons seal online shopping deal with Ocado

Grocer to make first foray into online world - but how will Waitrose react to Ocado's deal with its rival?

MORRISONS has gone from a "standing start to the fast lane" after agreeing to launch an online shopping service with Ocado, its chief executive said today. Dalton Philips told the BBC the grocer was making an "important step" in joining the fast-growing online shopping world.

Unlike rivals Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, Britain's fourth-biggest supermarket has not offered an internet shopping service before. But Morrisons is attempting to turn around its flagging fortunes after reporting its first profit drop in six years last March.

The grocer said its website will have a clear "Morrisons look and feel" and that Morrisons.com will be delivering to customers by January 2014. It has agreed to pay £170m to acquire Ocado's distribution centre in Dordon, North Warwickshire and a further £46m to expand it in a 25-year deal.

While Ocado said that the Morrisons deal would not affect its ongoing partnership with Waitrose, The Sun's business editor Steve Hawkes joked that Waitrose would be spitting out organic tea at the news. Days before the deal was announced The Times reported that the John Lewis business was prepared to take legal action against Ocado over its plans to help a rival. One Waitrose insider told the paper: "Why does Ocado think that Waitrose would be happy to see them introduce competition into the marketplace against the background of the agreement we have?" Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price told the BBC ahead of today's announcement: "I'll want to look really closely at that contract to see whether there is any breach of the agreement we have [with Ocado]".

Waitrose has not commented on the deal. But speaking this morning Philips said Morrisons "are confident we are not in breach of anything".

Both Morrisons and Ocado shares rose in early trading with Ocado's up by 25 per cent and Morrisons rising by 1.7 per cent.

Recommended

Facebook: is it ‘monetising misery’?
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Why we’re talking about . . .

Facebook: is it ‘monetising misery’?

Universal Music: don’t stop me now…
Lucian Grainge is CEO of Universal Music Group
In Brief

Universal Music: don’t stop me now…

The Chase app: challenging the challengers
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: fintech challenge
Expert’s view

The Chase app: challenging the challengers

‘Netflix of sport’ DAZN in advanced talks to buy BT Sport 
DAZN cameraman
In Focus

‘Netflix of sport’ DAZN in advanced talks to buy BT Sport 

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

Penguins ‘might be aliens’
Penguins
Tall Tales

Penguins ‘might be aliens’

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner