Supermarket Morrisons has today announced the appointment of current Group Strategy Director Gordon Mowat to the newly-created role of Managing Director of M Local.
M Local, the grocer’s convenience arm, currently has five stores across the country following a trial last year and is to expand this portfolio with Mowat leading the accelerated roll-out, starting with London and the South East.
This initial regionally focused expansion will be supported by Morrisons’ recently acquired 100,000 sq ft multi-temperature distribution centre in Feltham, West London which is set to open in February next year and is expected to created 200 jobs.
With plans underway to open 70 M Local format stores by the end of 2013, Mowat will oversee all aspects of the operation, including site acquisitions and will work with the team to leverage the grocer’s position in the market.
Last month, Morrisons reported a like-for-like sales fall of 0.9 per cent in its first half which the company noted was a result of fragile consumer confidence and rising commodity prices and it is hoped that this portfolio expansion will help boost its reach.
Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips commented: “Too often convenience shopping is about compromise as customers get second best on range, freshness and price.
“M locals show there is a better way to serve customers, with half the space dedicated to fresh food and scratch cooking all at very competitive prices.
“We are now ready to expand at pace and I am delighted that Gordon will be spearheading the growth of M locals, particularly into London and the South East.”