Morrisons to shift wholesale business away from retail

Morrisons will begin selling to pubs, restaurants and cafés in a bid to pull its wholesale business away from retailers.

It comes three months after the FTSE 100 company cancelled “ad hoc” deliveries to independent shops.

The Times reports that Morrisons has signed a deal with Starstock, an online platform that lets businesses order directly from suppliers.

Hospitality businesses will soon be able to stock their kitchens with products from the supermarket.

READ MORE: Morrisons boss targeted by anti-vax conspiracists

On life support for much of lockdown, food service wholesale has been revived by the lifting of restrictions.

Booker, owned by Big 4 rival Tesco, watched sales soar 9.2 per cent in the first quarter as pubs and restaurants reopened.

By contrast, Sainsbury’s announced plans in July to scrap its wholesale business, which supplies retailers including WH Smith and Simply Fresh.

Morrisons, which supplies McColl’s convenience stores, will stock 1,500 products under the Starstock deal. 

This is likely to be expanded over the next six to twelve months.

The supermarket will go to auction next month after a bidding war between two private equity firms.

Despite attempts by chief executive David Potts to soothe fears, farmers believe the buyer will force them to renegotiate contracts and abandon Morrisons’ environmental pledges.

This weekend, National Farmers’ Union president Minette Batters called on ministers to “step in” and scrutinise the Morrisons sale. 

“If we lost it . . . I think that would be a national disaster,” she said.

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