Morrison’s partnership with Amazon for ultra-fast, same-day delivery of groceries to the door has been extended to more cities.
The service, now available to Amazon’s Prime Now customers in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and parts of London and the home counties, will be extended to Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield and Portsmouth this year. Further expansion is planned thereafter.
The service allows customers to order a full Morrisons shop online, which is then picked at a local shop and delivered by Amazon, with an option for delivery within one hour of the order being placed in some places.
The expansion comes less than a month after the supermarket chain negotiated the loosening of an exclusivity clause it signed when it struck a deal with Ocado in 2013. As part of the agreement Morrisons temporarily gave up space at Ocado’s new warehouse in Erith, southeast London, to help the online grocer after the fire that destroyed its Andover distribution centre in February.
The “Morrisons at Amazon” service began three years ago, months after the chain had struck a wholesale supply partnership with Amazon to make hundreds of its grocery products available through Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh. The link with the giant online retailer was seen as a blow to Ocado.
As part of today’s improved service Morrisons will become a retailer on Amazon’s Prime Now website and app. It will continue as a wholesaler for all Amazon’s other UK grocery customers.
Morrisons is Britain’s fourth biggest grocer by market share and traces its roots back 120 years to an egg and butter stall set up by William Morrison in Bradford, where the company is still based.
David Potts, chief executive, said: “Continuing to partner with the best digital operators such as Amazon is a significant, capital-light growth opportunity for Morrison’s.”
Amazon’s move into the grocery market has increased competition in the sector. Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, said: “We are committed to growing our grocery business so that we can continue to deliver what we know our customers will always care about: low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery.”
Shares in Morrisons rose nearly 1p, or 0.5 per cent, to 196p in early trading.
Clive Black, retail analyst at Shore Capital, said: “We also see potential significance in Amazon’s commitment to grow its grocery business in the UK and the further deepening of its involvement with Morrison’s.”