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UK supermarket plans to launch first multichannel products in 2012

Wm Morrison Supermarkets today announced the acquisition of Kiddicare, for a total consideration of £70 million. 

The acquisition of the multichannel nursery retailer, together with the rights to its technology platform, is the first step in developing Morrisons’ online business.

The company will continue to trade separately as, led by Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright, who will pursue an ambitious growth agenda.

Kiddicare was founded in 1974. Turnover in the last full financial year (2010) was £37.5 million and has grown by 75% in the past three years using leading web technology and picking software. Over 80% of sales are now through the online channel.

Attracted to technical property

Most recently, it announced it had taken over £200,000 within the first eight weeks of launching a new iPhone app and mobile transactional website.

The company also owns a new state-of-the-art freehold distribution facility and operates the largest baby nursery equipment retail store in Europe based in Peterborough, comprising 160,000 square feet of warehouse, retail and office space.

Morrisons intends to build its online non-food business, developing the platform and management team, launching its first products in 2012.

Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “This acquisition brings not only a respected, successful and fast growing specialist retailer into the Morrisons group but also a robust, scalable and highly advanced technology platform around which we can begin to build our e-commerce offer.

Buying in online expertise

“We are delighted to welcome Scott and Elaine Weavers-Wright to Morrisons, along with their team. They are two of the most talented and respected operators of online retail today and their experience and track record with has been outstanding. Their knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as Morrisons builds its online business.”

Scott Weavers-Wright, chief executive of, said: "Elaine and I are extremely excited about partnering with Morrisons to accelerate the pace of future growth at and look forward to working with the Morrisons team to develop their on-line offer. There are fantastic synergies between the two businesses and our platform will allow both brands to enjoy future success and to continue to deliver an unrivalled customer experience.”

The acquisition is subject to certain conditions, which if not satisfied by 23 March 2011, would allow Morrisons to terminate the agreement.

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