Morrisons eyes online retail and invests £310m in IT


Morrisons eyes online retail and invests £310m in IT

Rebecca Thomson

Supermarket chain Morrisons is looking at investing in online retail after deciding the internet offers "attractive opportunities".

It is the last of the UK's biggest four supermarkets to start trading on the internet but will look into it in 2011.

Its half-year results statement showed pre-tax profits of £412m in the six months to 1 August, and sales of £8.1bn, up 9.1% on this time last year.

The company has also started a £310m programme of IT investment.

The programme will see the company's core systems and technology infrastructure being replaced. So far, payroll, HR and financial systems have been replaced, a wide area network installed, the majority of store hardware renewed and voice-picking technology implemented in grocery and frozen distribution centres.

A new electronic point of sale system is being rolled out, due for completion in 2012. The software needed to run distribution centres and food production facilities is currently being piloted in one depot and one produce plant, and the company said it has been successful so far. Other depots will get the software through 2011 and 2012.

The company's half-year results statement said, "The success of these activities, and our proven ability to implement changes with no impact on the business, gives us great confidence for the remainder of the programme."

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