Morrisons is to launch an online service in its Yorkshire heartlands at 7am this morning and said pre-bookings have exceeded expectations.
Much is expected of the Bradford-based chain’s first foray into home delivery after a month long trial in the Midlands.
Morrisons lags behind its three main rivals, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, in being the last to launch an online service, but chief executive Dalton Philips has promised that state-of-the-art technology provided by its delivery partner Ocado will enable it to outperform rivals.
The man behind the launch, Simon Thompson, managing director for online food at Morrisons, said: “We’re very happy with Yorkshire pre-bookings. We’ve seen greater demand from Yorkshire shoppers than we’ve seen from Warwickshire.”
This is despite the fact that the Warwickshire region trial covered 12 per cent of UK homes compared with eight per cent for Yorkshire.
Mr Thompson said the three main aims of the Midlands trial was to achieve very low levels of substitutions (when customers get a different product to the one they wanted), for drivers to arrive within the one hour time slot and to make sure customers got “great fresh food”.
“I can’t give you the numbers,” said Mr Thompson. “I’d love to give you them as we’re absolutely meeting our expectations which are very high. We’ve seen very low levels of substitutions.”
The service will cover just under two million households in Yorkshire.
Morrisons expects to be covering 50 per cent of the country by the beginning of 2015 and it will launch in London this summer.Mr Philips said: “This fresh food offer will be the closest thing on the internet to being in a store and selecting food yourself.
“Customers do have concerns about buying fresh food online and today we believe we’ve come up with the answer.” Morrisons shoppers will be able to log on to the website via Facebook and a new deal with mySupermarket.com means they can download their favourites from rivals. Other initiatives include one-hour delivery slots and texts to say the name of the driver.