Supermarket Morrisons has acquired a number of stores from embattled retailer Jessops as it seeks to strengthen its position following disappointing Christmas sales, Retail Gazette understands.
Last week, entrepreneur Peter Jones was confirmed as one of “a number” of buyers of the struggling chain with a view to building the brand’s online presence as he had not invested in any stores.
It is believed that Morrisons has purchased seven stores from the retailer.
As a result of the retailer’s collapse into administration last month, which saw advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers called in to aid the company, some 2,000 jobs have been lost and nearly 200 stores closed.
It is expected that the units bought by Morrisons will be used as convenience stores as the grocer looks to improve its offering after analysts warned that Morrisons needed to work harder to compete with rivals in offering a stronger convenience model after underwhelming festive sales.
“Convenience and online – while representing less profitable channels in the short term – are where the current growth spots predominately are in the market,” analyst firm Conlumino’s Lead Consultant Joseph Robinson said.
“The grocer is finally making some strides in these areas, with plans to open more convenience stores and a rising likelihood that it will finally launch a full-scale online offer in 2013.
“However, these developments have been slow, and Morrisons is playing catch up to rivals which are significantly more established in these areas.”
Retail Gazette understands that Morrisons has also set its sights on HMV and Blockbuster units after the pair fell into administration within a week of Jessops last month.