Morrisons to launch online kitchenware business
US-MORRISONS-LAKELAND:Morrisons to launch online kitchenware business
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's fourth largest supermarket group Wm Morrison said on Friday it would extend its online presence in the spring with the launch of a kitchenware website in partnership with specialist Lakeland.
The joint venture will be Morrisons' third fully transactional website following the launch of wine website MorrisonsCellar.com in November and the purchase of baby care retailer Kiddicare.com in 2011.
"We believe the future for retailing many non-food products is online rather than in supermarkets," said Chief Executive Dalton Philips.
Unlike the other grocers that make up Britain's so called "big four" - market leader Tesco, Wal-Mart's Asda and J Sainsbury - Morrisons does not have a website for the home delivery of food.
Earlier this month Morrisons posted a weak Christmas trading update that it partly attributed to its lack of an online food offer.
The firm is researching the possibility and plans to say more when it publishes full year results in March. Most analysts expect it to launch a trial this year.
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)