Supermarket giant Morrisons is gearing up for a more aggressive push into wholesaling, stated a report on Sunday (1), saying that the supermarket chain’s private equity owners aim to “recover lost ground after their £7 billion takeover”.
According to The Times, the Bradford-based supermarket chain is building sales and marketing teams to support its wholesale ambitions. The venture has been rebranded Myton Food Group in the hope to distinguishing its wholesaling activities from the Morrisons brand. Morrisons believes the wholesaling push will create hundreds of jobs.
The name is a nod to the 17th century country mansion Myton Hall, the Yorkshire home of the late Sir Ken Morrison, who transformed Morrisons from a small grocery store into one of the country’s biggest supermarket chains.
The news comes after Morrisons announced last week that long-serving chief executive David Potts will stand down in November and be replaced by Rami Baitiéh, the boss of French grocer Carrefour’s domestic business.
Potts said his eight-year stint leading Morrisons had felt like being the “leader of 100,000 rock stars rather than a CEO”. The avid Manchester City fan said that although he wouldn’t be “on the pitch” any more he would be cheering on Morrisons “from the touchline”.
Morrisons owns 19 food-manufacturing facilities, including a fish-processing plant in Grimsby and a fruit-packing plant in Bradford, that supply its nearly 500 supermarkets, as well as McColl’s convenience stores and Amazon’s grocery business.
“We have taken the decision to significantly increase the amount of third party business that our food manufacturing business takes on and so Myton Food Group is now open for third party business and starting to welcome new customers,” the report quotes a Morrisons spokesman as saying.
Acquiring the McColl’s convenience business saw Morrisons gain almost 1,000 sites, which it is steadily converting into its Morrisons Daily format. The retailer has added buying group Unitas and wholesaler Blakemore to its portfolio of supply agreements.