Throwback Thursday No.1 – 2011 – M Local

Due to the work pressure, finding time to write a good blog each week is becoming a near impossibility, however there is a need to keep the blog / website updated for the thousands* of visitors who beat a weary path to each working week.

The blog in the older days was a regular source of news, but this has now ported to a paid model – for further information (and to subscribe) please visit – Grocery Insight Newsletter

So the question is what to do with the blog? A recent port from old Mac to new Mac (oh rar rar etc) saw c. 80,000 images moved across. Now some of those aren’t retail store based, but the majority are. Consider a recent family holiday to Florida saw us return with 3,000 images….. 1,000 of which were of Supermarkets…. However here is one of Disney (well Disney for retailers).

Trader Joe's FL.
Trader Joe’s FL.

Early 2016, I’ll be opening the archive of images up on a paid basis, monthly membership kind of idea with all the images archived by retailer, type, campaign etc etc. It’s likely to be a vital resource for the various stakeholders within retail, marketing and what not.

To whet the appetite a little, I plan to do a little throwback Thursday each week, showing just how long ago some things were (many of which that seem to be only last month…) such is life in retail. All these images are from the Grocery Insight archive.

Throwback Thursday .1 – 1st M Local opens – July 2011

M Local opening..
M Local opening..

Amazingly, it is 4 years (in a fortnight) since the flagship store at Ilkley opened up, it was due to the trailblazer for convenience retailing in the UK with a focus on Fresh, similar prices as the main estate and a modern fit out versus competitor stores.

Grinding your own Coffee..
Grinding your own Coffee..

Pushing on convenience at the time made sense for Morrisons, the core estate was in rude health and these new channels were ripe for exploitation, however the reality was that there were limited sites available to cater for this offer. The Ilkley site by all accounts cost a lot to acquire and the Wilmslow store popped up in an old office block – costly to convert and limited parking too.

Future expansion has seen the chain become somewhat standardised as the roll out was sped up, the former Blockbuster / HMV stores haven’t quite done as expected and a few have been closed due to location – which is the vital cog in convenience.

Early stores had a hub store to produce Fresh Foods.
Early stores had a hub store to produce Fresh Foods.

M (Morrisons) Local as it is now has come a fair way since those early, heady days of Fresh Food, hub stores and Coffee grinders, however it’s not been a smooth ride. Any convenience chain (particularly JS / Tesco Express) have grown by acquisition which is how to get the best sites, Morrisons have been unable to do so, and the effective pause on roll out shows there is more work to do for the future in convenience.

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