Grocer Morrisons has acquired six stores from embattled entertainment retailer HMV from administrators Deloitte as it looks to grow its convenience branch, it has been announced today.
Converting the units into Morrisons M Local stores, the purchase follows the supermarket’s acquisition of 49 Blockbuster stores and seven Jessops stores following their respective administrations last month as the retailer seeks to extend its reach on the high street.
Last month, the grocer announced a 2.5 per cent like-for-like sales decline over the crucial Christmas period as high promotional activity in the sector created “challenging” conditions, though focus on its small format proposition remains firm.
Currently trading across 13 convenience stores throughout the country, Morrisons is expected to reach its target of operating 70 such stores by the end of the year.
So strong is the retailer’s focus on growth acceleration that colleagues are being offered a £500 finder’s fee for identifying suitable properties for a convenience store if these are subsequently opened.
Set to open during the summer, the stores are primarily located across London and the South East and Morrisons Convenience Managing Director Gordon Mowat, explained the significance of the move as part of a broader strategy.
“We have either opened or acquired 70 stores just one month into our financial year so we are pleased that we will exceed our 2013 target,” Mowat said.
“Our focus is now on opening these stores as soon as we can as well as pushing on to secure even more sites.
“This is a big expansion year for us and we have got off to a great start.”