Morrisons Supermarket is one of four largest supermarket chains in the UK.
Morrisons Supermarket, more correctly, Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc is, in everyday conversation, usually just called Morrisons. Morrisons Supermarket is the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK, behind Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury's, but ahead of the Co-op. The Morrison family maintain a large, but not controlling, share of the company.
Morrisons Supermarket - History
Morrisons Supermarket was founded by William Morrison in 1899 as an egg and butter
stall in Rawson Market, Bradford, England under the name Wm Morrison (Provisions)
Limited. His son, Ken Morrison, took over in 1952 and opened the first self-service store
in Bradford. In 1961 the first Morrisons supermarket opened, also in Bradford. In 1967
Morrisons became a public limited company listed on the London Stock
Until 2004, Morrisons supermarket branches were mostly located in the north of England, but after the Safeway takeover in that year, the company increased its profile across the south. It now has over 400 supermarkets in the UK. The acquisition ran into difficulties, highlighted by a series of profit warnings being issued by Morrisons, and poor financial results.
John Lewis Partnership eventually purchased
a few dozen Safeway stores, which become part of the Waitrose chain. J Sainsbury plc purchased
14, and Tesco 10.
Unlike with Tesco and Sainsbury's, Morrisons supermarket convenience stores were not introduced, and 'Safeway Compact' stores were sold off to the Somerfield chain. In Northern Ireland, Morrisons sold Safeway's stores to ASDA, in the Channel Islands to CI Traders, and in the Isle of Man to Shoprite and the Co-op. Morrisons market share actually decreased after the Safeway acquisition.
Morrisons Supermarket now operates mostly large superstores with a focus on groceries and homeware, with fewer electronics, clothing and furnishings than its rivals. Unlike it's major competitors, Morrisons does not offer an online grocery home delivery service.
When the Co-operative Group took over the Somerfield supermarket chain in 2009, it was required to sell many stores by the Competition Commission. Morrisons purchased 35 of them, but kept the Somerfield fascia. This represented a serious step by Morrisons supermarket into the smaller supermarkets arena.
With Asda and Tesco competing heavily on prices, Morrisons have tended to stress other areas important to customers, using straplines like "More reasons to shop at Morrisons", "fresh for you everyday", "fresh choice for you" and "food specialist for everyone".