Morrisons to ramp up Kiddicare integration

Morrisons plans to ramp up the integration and promotion of its recently acquired baby retailer Kiddicare brand in stores as part of its efforts to offer more non-food products.

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Morrisons bought the online baby retailer in a £70m deal in February in a bid to boost its online capability by using the site’s existing online platform to develop its own non-food online operations.

A year-round range of “essential” baby products boosted by seasonal promotional “baby events” that would see bigger ticket items like carseats and prams take a larger presence in stores for a limited period are being considered.

These would be supported by press and in-store marketing.

It is also increasing the number of Kiddicare branded kiosks in its supermarkets to offer a multi-platform shopping experience.

Morrisons is also looking at click and collect as part of its wider trials into e-commerce models, but a spokesman says this is unlikely to part of the Kiddicare proposition.

Separately, Kiddicare, which is still operated separately to Morrisons by its former chief executive, plans to open a number of UK stores to develop a multi-channel offer. It currently operates one store in Peterborough alongside its £37.5m online business.

Morrisons also bought a 10% stake in US online fresh food company FreshDirect for £32m in a bid to develop its own online food delivery service.

It currently has a number of senior Morrisons executives posted at FreshDirect’s New York offices which is likely to result in a London trial of a similar fresh prepared food delivery service in 2012 or 2013.

Morrisons committed to investing £3bn in its stores, own label ranges and the online platforms over the next three years and is expected to update on its progress in March.

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