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By
Reuters
Published
Feb 15, 2011
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Morrisons buys baby goods website for online drive

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 15, 2011

Feb 15 - Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Britain's fourth-biggest grocer, is buying online baby products retailer Kiddicare for 70 million pounds ($112 million) to kick-start a business selling non-food goods over the internet.

Morrisons
Kiddicare

Morrisons said on Tuesday the deal would give it a highly-regarded technology platform and a state-of-the-art distribution centre which it would use to develop an online non-food business, launching its first products in 2012.

"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," Chief Executive Dalton Philips said.

The move is part of Philip's drive to explore new avenues of growth for Morrisons, including convenience stores and selling groceries over the internet as well as more general merchandise ranges.

While Morrisons has outpaced sales growth of larger rivals like Tesco and Asda for most of the past two years, some analysts have criticised it for being slower than them to branch into higher growth markets.

(Reporting by Mark Potter; editing by Rhys Jones)

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