Morrisons unveils ambitious expansion plans for convenience stores

Supermarket giant Morrisons has announced plans to open approximately 400 new Morrisons Daily convenience shops as part of a strategic move to challenge rivals Aldi and Lidl.

The retailer aims to increase its total number of smaller stores to 2,000 by 2025, marking a significant push into the convenience sector.

This expansion comes as Morrisons reported a 4.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, over the three months to 28 April. Although this represents a slight slowdown from the 4.6 per cent increase in the previous quarter, the company views it as a "solid quarter of progress".

Rami Baitieh, Morrisons' chief executive, expressed satisfaction with the overall performance, noting growth across supermarkets, convenience stores, wholesale, and online channels. He highlighted the success of the recently introduced Aldi and Lidl Price Match initiative, stating it has had a "great start" and is boosting customer confidence in Morrisons' pricing competitiveness.

The supermarket, which was acquired by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2022, has also made significant strides in reducing its debt. The company reported a decrease from a peak of £6.2 billion to £4 billion, representing a 35 per cent reduction.

Morrisons' focus on convenience has been bolstered by the completion of the McColl's conversion programme and the recent acquisition of 38 convenience stores in the Channel Islands. The retailer now boasts over 1,600 Morrisons Daily convenience stores, with the channel described as "important and strongly growing".

While specific locations for the new stores have not been revealed, this ambitious expansion plan underscores Morrisons' commitment to strengthening its position in the highly competitive UK grocery market, particularly in the convenience sector where discounters Aldi and Lidl have made significant inroads in recent years.

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