Morrisons is taking its first steps in online retailing with the acquisition of Kiddicare, the multi-channel baby products retailer, for £70m. The deal includes the rights to Kiddicare’s highly regarded technology platform.
Kiddicare is the UK’s leading specialist online retailer of baby products. Its turnover in 2010 was £37.5m and has grown by 75% in the past three years. Over 80% of its sales are now through the online channel.
The company owns a new distribution facility and operates the largest baby nursery equipment retail store in Europe, based in Peterborough. It comprises 160,000 square feet of warehouse, retail and office space.
Morrisons intends to build its online non-food business, developing the kiddicare.com platform and management team, launching its first products in 2012.
Dalton Philips, 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.”
The company will continue to trade separately as kiddicare.com, led by Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright, the daughter of the company’s founders Neville and Marilyn Wright.
Scott Weavers-Wright, chief executive of kiddicare.com, said: “Elaine and I are extremely excited about partnering with Morrisons to accelerate the pace of future growth at kiddicare.com and look forward to working with the Morrisons team to develop their on-line offer. There are fantastic synergies between the two businesses and our platform will allow both brands to enjoy future success and to continue to deliver an unrivaled customer experience.”