Supermarket chain Morrisons completed the purchase of independent florist Flower World yesterday, as part of its continued vertical integration strategy.
Established in 1987, Flower World is a major flower importer and distributor in the UK and already supplies one-third of the products currently included in Morrisons’ Fresh Lab store in Leeds.
The acquisition follows the grocer buying online mother & baby products retailer Kiddicare earlier this year and speculation that it may make a bid for rival supermarket chain Iceland.
Dalton Phillips, CEO of Morrisons, commented: “Morrisons wants to be known as the supermarket that excels at retailing flowers.
“We believe that we can do this by owning our own flower business, being closer to growers and therefore better able to control quality and value.”
First quarter trading for the supermarket was in line with expectation as sales grew 4.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to May 1st 2011.
Despite the low level of consumer spending at present, the group looks determined to grow its operations in multichannel and smaller format stores, and this latest acquisition seems like another small part of the strategy.
Analyst at BGC Partners David Buik added: “This is the consistent policy adopted by Dalton Phillips; to make inexpensive but effective purchases to add to the Morrisons portfolio.
“The market wants Morrison to be successful in its quest to buy Iceland, in order to fill its convenience store void.”