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Morrisons planning to become more local after Ilkley success
Bradford-based retail giant Morrisons is accelerating its move into the convenience store sector after the success of an Ilkley pilot scheme.
The group, which last month said it was scaling back major store expansions due to the tough trading climate, launched its first M Local store in Ilkley last year and now operates five, including Wilmslow, Manchester, Doncaster and Birmingham.
The UK’s fourth largest grocer wants to open 70 stores by the end of 2013, and has given the job of driving the programme forward to one of its existing senior executives.
Former strategy director, Gordon Mowat, has been appointed managing director of M Local to lead the accelerated roll-out of the convenience stores across Britain, starting with London and the South East.
He will oversee all aspects of the M Local business, including the proposition, site acquisition and operations. He is a former partner at management consultants McKinsey & Co where he worked in the European retail and consumer practice.
Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said: “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 Gordon will be spearheading the growth of M Locals, particularly into London and the South East.”