The supermarket has agreed to buy the online baby wear retailer in a £70m deal.

Morrisons plans to launch its online operations in 2012. It will build its online non-food business by developing the platform and using its “state of the art freehold distribution facility”.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, says: “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.”

Kiddicare is the UK’s leading specialist online retailer of baby products and operates an award winning e-commerce platform.

It reported turnover of £37.5m in 2010. Kiddicare has grown its business 75% in the past three years and 80% of its business comes from online.

Kiddicare will continue to operate separately led by its CEO Scott Weavers-Wright.

Analysts say the “surprise” diversification into online baby retail indicates “new thinking” in the business and suggests that Dalton Philips’ plan for Morrisons is not “more of the same”.