Budgens retailer to spearhead new Morrisons concept store

The supermarket expects the development of its wholesale arm to play a 'large and significant part' of its future

Budgens retailer Guy Warner has been recruited by Morrisons to launch its new joint-branded retail concept for larger stores. 

The ‘Together with Morrisons’ concept debuted at Warner’s Upton-upon-Severn store on 26 May. The 6,000sq ft unit will be branded Warner’s Supermarket – Together with Morrisons. 

The supermarket chain is set to supply around 90% of its stock, with Warner’s sourcing the remainder through local suppliers. There are three stores in the Warners estate, with two others operating in Tewkesbury and Quedgeley in Gloucestershire. 

It is understood the new concept is aimed at retailers with stores over 3,000sq ft and retailers will be required to adhere to the Morrisons brand on key aspects, such as maximum prices on own-branded products. Morrisons would not confirm if it was in talks with any other retailers. 

A Morrisons spokesperson told Better Retailing: “This is designed for independent store owners with established local brands and larger stores. 

“The store owners are focused on championing local produce and local suppliers, and Morrisons will enable them to offer a wider breadth of range to their customers.” 

They added the supermarket expects the development of its wholesale arm to play a “large and significant part” of its future. 

Wholesale expert David Gilroy said the move has presented a battleground for the multiples to compete to work with the biggest and best independent retailers. 

“Morrisons will want better stores with better ranges in their portfolio,” he said. “That’s the future and it’s a model that works. I think Morrisons will do well with this. 

“Their range is decent; their fresh food offer is good, and their own label is credible. They’ll get larger stores up to £100,000 a week turnover, so it’s an attractive proposition for retailers.” 

Meanwhile, in the same week, Morrisons confirmed to Better Retailing it will be resuming rollout of its Morrisons Daily store format of McColl’s stores, following a rescue deal. 

The fascia rollout had reportedly been paused when the struggling convenience chain fell into administration earlier this month, but was later saved. 

A spokesperson said the supermarket remains on target to complete 450 conversions by the end of the year. “We are pressing ahead with four conversions a week, on average,” they said. 

“The conversion rate had not paused and there is no intention for this to pause.” The Morrisons Daily fascia, where stores are supplied with Morrisons own-label products, was launched in April 2019. 

Gloucestershire retailer Harj Dhasee became the first independent retailer to operate under the brand last November.

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