Morrisons opens first M Local convenience store in London, 13th overall, as fourth-largest grocer attempts to compete with Tesco, Sainsbury's in the category; Morrisons plans to have at least 70 M Local c-stores by end of 2013

LONDON , February 25, 2013 () – LONDON shoppers got their first look today at Morrisons' attempt to take on Tesco and Sainsbury's dominance in the smaller shops sector as the supermarket opened its first convenience store in the capital.

It will be followed by an opening blitz of Morrisons' smaller shops in London this year.

The UK's fourth-biggest grocer plans to have at least 70 Morrisons M Local stores by the end of 2013 and the lion's share of these will be in London and the South-east.

The Bradford-based group said the shop on the Uxbridge Road in Ealing will have more than 100 lines of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh coffee and sandwiches to take away for busy commuters.

The opening of its 13th Morrisons M Local will be welcomed by investors. The convenience store market is growing strongly, as cash-strapped consumers do more top-up shopping in local stores. Chief executive Dalton Philips is under pressure after Morrisons posted a 2.5% fall in sales over Christmas, which left it trailing behind the growth of rivals Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda over similar periods.

This month, Morrisons acquired seven shops from the failed camera chain Jessops and 49 from the collapsed DVD rental firm Blockbuster, with half of the latter being in the South East."
(c) 2013 Associated Newspapers Company

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