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From antiquated systems to best-of-class: how Morrisons is preparing for multichannel

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Morrisons’ online grocery delivery service must be one of the most eagerly anticipated that there is. It’s still not here, but this week Morrisons’ chief executive Dalton Philips gave us some interesting insights into its progress towards multichannel retail, and into where it started from. Systems that held it back from trading online, takings that had to be counted by hand, and ordering that had to be written down in pen and ink are all enumerated in Philips’ speech this week. It sounds outdated and surprising, but we might well be surprised by how common this starting point is for traditional high street retailers now battling to get ahead in today’s competitive commerce environment.

But this is a story that should give others hope. Morrisons has now updated its systems, at the cost of some £300m, and believes that not only will it now take the lead in multichannel retailing, but that it will be in profit on the investment within four years. We shall wait with interest to see to see if that comes to pass. Find out more about its mission in the story below.

Elsewhere in today’s Internet Retailing newsletter we report on retailers at different stages of the multichannel journey. Burberry this week showed that online was helping it to double-digital sales rises, while Halfords continues to grow its online sales, and is doing particularly well in the online cycling market. SuperGroup, meanwhile, is to trial a Chinese website next year.

Today’s guest comment is from Trevor Harvey of Saatchi & Saatchi X, who considers how retailers can use their stores and online channel to attract different types of shopper.


We have a number of upcoming webinars to let you know about today.

On Tuesday July 16, SLI Systems bring together Snow + Rock and Javelin Group to discuss SaaS (software as a service): risks and rewards in retail. The event takes place at 11am, when Fraser Davidson, director, technology services, at Javelin Group, and David Kohn, head of multichannel at Snow + Rock, will speak. Find out more and register for the free webinar here.

Finally, on Tuesday August 13, Jim Davidson, manager of marketing research at Bronto, joins us for Bam! Ka-Pow! Power-packing your post-purchase programs . During the event, to be held at 2pm, he will be considering how post-purchase email marketing can help to ensure long-term customer loyalty and repeat sales. It’s an under-used part of the customer lifecycle, he says, that can give a strong boost to online sales and conversion by talking direclty to the multi-device, multi-tasking consumer. Find out more on the Bronto webinar page, where you can also register for free.

More information about our webinar programme is available here.


We’re also excited to have the first details of the 8th Internet Retailing Conference. The event will be held on October 16 in London. Keynote speakers will include Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Ocado and Dressipi, and Laura Wade-Geary, executive director, multichannel ecommerce, Marks & Spencer. For more details and early bird supersaver registration, visit

Today’s stories

Morrisons’ chief executive sets out plans to take multichannel market lead

Online helps Burberry boost sales by 18%

GUEST COMMENT Twixt the devil and the deep blue SoCal sea

SuperGroup to trial Chinese website

Halfords online sales rise by 15.5%, with boost from cycling launches BoohooMAN

Read More

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