The firm that started in a Bradford market in the 1920s now claims to be the UK's fourth-largest supermarket chain, boasting over 400 UK stores. Employing 124,000 and with nine million customers every week, Morrisons is now well established as a challenger to the big three behemoths of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, having been boosted by the acquisition of Safeway in 2004.
Morrisons continues to grow with revenues up five per cent to £7.5bn for its last financial half-year and profit up sharply to £449m before tax in a period when 22 stores opened. The numbers are an endorsement of Morrison's highly vertically-integrated supply chain.
This success has been mirrored in its IT investment with the company announcing in March 2010 that it would invest a further £200 million in its IT over a three year period, taking its total IT spend since 2007 to £310 million. Core systems will be replaced as Morrisons becomes an Oracle house using the full E-Business Suite.
In 2008, Morrisons began rolling out a suite of Oracle ERP tools under a massive internal change programme dubbed Project Evolve. In January 2009, Morrisons said Wipro would help it implement changes. The firm has also used infra-red technology to detect customer movement and hence reduce queues at tills and recently refreshed its IP network in a deal with Cable and Wireless.
However, CEO Mark Bolland has said that while the firm is moving from bespoke to packaged solutions, it does not plan to adopt "leading-edge" technologies.