Morrisons’ plan to launch an online channel is a logical next step, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The market research company expects Morrisons to poach business from shoppers who currently go elsewhere to buy groceries online.
Fraser McKevitt, retail analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “This is an obvious and long awaited move from Morrisons as it looks for ways to sustain its considerable growth since 2007. Internet grocery sales are currently up 20% year-on-year, with over 4m households purchasing at least some of their food online.
“The average internet shop is £85, making this a valuable part of the retail market. Morrisons should be helped considerably by the fact these customers largely take their bricks and mortar preferences online with them, meaning there are several million customers who are already loyal to its stores but at the moment have to shop elsewhere on the internet.
“Morrisons will also be targeting the lucrative family market with this development,” said McKevitt. “These customers have larger trolley loads, so online shopping is an attractive option. However online retailing is notoriously costly to run and rivals will be hoping the exercise takes up valuable time and cash – something Dalton Philips [CEO] will be only too keen to avoid. For customers though this move should be a good one, as more competition in the online market should provide a better service.”