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Home delivery to grow as Morrisons begins selling online

Bradford, UK: The market for home deliveries is set to maintain is rapid growth as supermarket chain Morrisons says it will begin selling food online by the end of this year.

Morrisons is the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, but unlike its rivals does not have an online retail presence.

Chief executive Dalton Philips called the move “an important step”. A deal with online food retailer Ocado is one option being discussed.

“We will be transacting online with food by the end of this year,” he told the BBC’s Today programme. “We’ve been studying the market for two years [and] it’s a market that is accelerating very quickly.”

A possible deal with Ocado was “one of the options available”, he said.

Morrisons reported a 7.2% fall in pre-tax profits to £879m for the year to 3 February, while like-for-like sales were down more than 2%. Other supermarkets have seen sales growth in their online businesses and in smaller convenience stores.

Morrisons also said it would open 100 convenience stores in the coming months. “The sustained pressure on consumer spending was reflected in our like-for-like sales performance, which was not as good as it should have been,” Philips said.

“We have implemented a range of measures to address this. Today’s announcement that we are launching an online food offer… is another important step.”