Morrisons has purchased 49 Blockbuster stores to convert into convenience stores.
Stepping up expansion
The retailer has announced the purchase of 49 Blockbuster stores from administrators Deloitte for an undisclosed sum as it steps up its expansion into the convenience sector. It is believed many of these stores are located in London and the south east, an area where traditionally Morrisons is underrepresented, with the stores enabling the retailer to rapidly expand its high street presence. Morrisons has also acquired a 100,000 sq ft multi-temperature distribution centre in west London, set to open later this month, that will be able to support the new stores.
Solid foothold in a key sector
Gordon Mowat, managing director of Morrisons convenience business commented"We are rolling out Morrisons M local estate at pace this year and these acquisitions give us a kickstart in securing a solid foothold in this key sector. The convenience market is growing as more people shop locally and we want to be in a position to take advantage of this". Morrisons is looking to have its newly acquired stores fully functional by the end of the summer, significantly bolstering its convenience store presence, as it targets new customers and new catchments.
Morrisons M Local
This move, on the back of the retailer acquiring seven former Jessops stores, further demonstrates Morrisons desire to build scale in the convenience sector with the retailer looking to have at least 70 stores by the end of 2013. As part of this announcement, Morrisons has also decided to re-brand its convenience offer as Morrisons M Local to emphasise the link between its convenience stores and its core business, ensuring brand recognition.
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What does the Blockbuster deal mean for Morrisons?