Morrisons injects £110m into tech refresh

Supermarket giant Morrisons plans to invest 110 million over the next three years modernising its IT infrastructure to help it realise its strategic ambition of becoming "the food specialist for everyone."

The cash injection will go towards revamping core systems and moving from bespoke to packaged software and is part of a wider 450 million investment, the remainder of which will be directed towards revamping distribution and manufacturing processes as well as in-store activities.

The retailer also plans to introduce self-scanning check-outs in its stores later this year.

"Systems are fundamental to the efficient operation of any large retailer, and the Morrisons systems platforms have served the business well," said the company's chief executive Marc Bolland.

"They are now approaching the point of requiring to be changed. Most of the core systems in Morrisons have been developed in house, over many years, and some are up to 30 years old. We will be pursuing a three year programme of moving our trading, store, warehousing, distribution, payroll and financial systems on to new platforms, wherever possible using best of breed package software."

But, despite the grand plans, the supermarket chain doesn't intend to do anything too radical and is positioning the change as an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary one.

"We believe the market for retail systems is well developed, and that there are relatively few areas where we need to continue with home grown applications," added Bolland.

"We will not be seeking to implement any 'leading edge' technology, as we believe our competitive advantages come in other areas, such as in-store service."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.