The head of Morrisons' convenience store operation says the Bradford-based chain is hoping to take advantage of a growing demand for smaller high-street supermarkets. Gordon Mowat's comments follow the announcement that the chain has bought 49 former Blockbuster stores which will be rebranded.
We are rolling out the Morrisons M local estate at pace this year and these acquisitions give us a kickstart in securing a solid foothold in this key sector. The convenience market is growing as more people shop locally and we want to be in a position to take advantage of this.
Morrisons hopes to have at least 70 convenience stores by the end of 2013 and is also expected to announce moves towards a full-scale online food delivery service alongside its annual results in March.
The chain reported a 2.5% decline in like-for-like sales in the last six weeks of 2012, following a 2.1% decline the previous quarter.
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The Government scheme would benefit those aged under 40 but will only run for five years.