Only a day after resigning its 130 small stores to My Local, Morrisons plans to re-enter the convenience market. As part of an initial pilot scheme, the big four grocer has partnered with Motor Fuel Group (MFG) to launch a food offering in five petrol station shops across Britain.
The latest scheme from Britain's fourth largest supermarket, with the UK's second largest forecourt operator, will launch by the end of the year. The stores will offer branded and own-brand food.
The five stations are all above 1,200sq ft, branded with the Morrisons banner and will be provided with deliveries of fresh food and groceries through the supermarket's logistics network.
“As we said at our recent interim results, we want to consider new opportunities to serve customers better in the convenience market where the capital commitment is low and the Morrisons resourcing is light-touch, said Chief Exec David Potts.
“This pilot in Motor Fuel Group filling stations will allow us to trial one opportunity in this growing channel.”
"Whilst only a toe in the water, and we should reiterate that this is just a trial, we like the thinking here, with five outlets of at least 1200sq ft in size expected to be operating under the Morrisons banner by the year-end," commented analyst Clive Black.
MFG currently has 373 stations operating under BP, Shell, Texaco and Jet Fuel brands. If the pilot is successful and able to launch across the MFG estate, Morrisons would enjoy a ready-made convenience chain without its previously experienced difficulties.