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Morrisons to use Ocado’s expertise as it moves online?

Morrisons to use Ocado’s expertise as it moves online?

Morrisons could use the expertise of Ocado to help it get to grips with its upcoming online grocery shopping facility.

The supermarket has announced that after holding off, it will now join its rivals Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda by providing a facility with which people can order goods from the comfort of their sofa before having them delivered to their door.

The move comes after disappointing financial results which saw both profits and sales drop over the past 12 months.

A 7.2 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £879 million was recorded for the year to February 3rd, with like-for-like sales down by more than two per cent.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, told the BBC's Today programme that the move will be an "important step" for the company and it comes on the back of studying the market for the past two years.

"2012/13 has been a challenging year for the company during which we did not perform as we would have wished. We are implementing a comprehensive range of plans to address these trading issues," he said in a statement.

Along with online, another area that Morrisons is pushing is its continued appearance in the convenience store arena. It has acquired around 60 stores recently from Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster as it looks to compete with Tesco Express and Sainsbury's Local.

Having previously opened 12 M Local convenience stores, Morrisons said that these were performing well and could suit those people who need to quickly visit a shop to pick up one or two items, rather than find their local supermarket, get parked and queue at the tills.

Morrisons could also take advantage of the fact that it emerged unscathed from the recent horsemeat scandal, as half of its products are processed in its own factories, cutting out the middleman.

"Recent events have underlined why it's so important that we tell our customers how and why we're different and what our vertical integration really means for them," Mr Philips noted.

On the back of its financial results, shares in Morrisons rose by four per cent to 283 p in early trading today (March 14th), while Ocado saw a jump of 17 per cent to 160.45 p.


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