Lakeland is joining up with Britain’s fourth largest supermarket, Morrisons, to launch a new kitchenware website.
The partnership is the latest step in Morrisons’ strategy of expanding its non-food business online to allow its supermarkets to remain focused on food.
The website, due for a spring launch this year, will initially concentrate on food-related categories. Lakeland’s range of kitchenware will sit alongside Morrisons’ existing range of everyday essentials.
Initially, fulfilment of orders will be undertaken by Lakeland but in time it will be done by Morrisons.
“We believe the future for retailing many non-food products is online rather than in supermarkets,” said the supermarket’s chief executive Dalton Philips. “Morrisons’ customers are used to buying great fresh food, and this venture will also ensure they can prepare it with great kitchenware from Morrisons.com.”
He added: “We decided to work with Lakeland because it has spent 50 years selling reliable kitchenware for cooks of all standards.”
This will be Morrisons’ third fully transactional website, following the launch of MorrisonsCellar.com in November 2012 and the acquisition of baby care retailer Kiddicare.com in 2011. Lakeland was one of the first retailers to launch into home shopping through its catalogue business, which was established in the 1970s.
Lakeland managing director Sam Rayner said the new initiative provided “a unique opportunity for us to work closely with one of the UK’s leading grocers, and we see a lot of opportunity in the links between our respective products and services”.
Morrisons had a disappointing Christmas, with like-for-like sales down 2.5% in the six weeks to December 30. Lakeland, meanwhile, announced earlier this month ambitious expansion plans. It wants to grow its presence in the UK by half and push further into overseas markets. It is also making a major investment in its Cumbrian distribution centre.