Morrisons takes fray into convenience market

Grocery giant Morrisons has signalled it moving back into the convenience store market with a pilot scheme for ten shops in petrol stations that will be owned and operated by Rontec, the forecourt operator.

In 2012 Morrisons launched a network of M Local convenience stores, though it withdrew from the sector in 2015 and sold its 140 stored to Greybull Capital.

The new Morrisons Daily stores will be supplied by wholesaler Palmer & Harvey. Under the new plans, four of them are to be opened before Christmas and a further six in January. They will be up to 3000 square feet in size and will sell both branded goods and Morrisons own brand products.

This is not the first foray into the petrol station market, with Morrisons already working with Motor Fuel Group.

The grocer has also announced plans to revive the Safeway brand in 2017 to encompass a range of convenience products for wholesale to independent retailers.

“These are two capital light ways of growing in the convenience food market. By working with well-established partners and reviving the Safeway brand, we are making our products more accessible to more customers,” said David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons.

Rontec was created in 2011 to acquire the assets of Total Oil UK and it now has more than 240 forecourts across England and Wales. Chief executive Gerald Ronson said: “We are constantly looking for ways in which we can improve the service and product range we offer to our customers and are pleased to be working together with Morrisons on this pilot.”

 
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