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British supermarket chain Wm Morrison to create first footprint in Asia (with photos)

     The UK's fourth largest supermarket chain, Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc (Morrisons), today (June 22) unveiled its new office in Hong Kong, Wm Morrison (HK) Ltd, to directly source home and leisure products and other categories. The Hong Kong office will serve as a regional office initially and gradually develop into the company's regional headquarters when the scope of sourcing expands.

     Morrisons is currently operating 455 stores with more than 132 000 staff in the UK. The company's core businesses are food and grocery. Wm Morrison (HK) Ltd will play a vital role in the development of the chain's non-food offer by increasing its direct sourcing capability in Asia.

     Commenting on the establishment of its Hong Kong office, Chief Executive of Morrisons, Mr Dalton Philips, said, "Morrisons is extending into Hong Kong because we believe we can source better products by really getting to know the Asian manufacturers. It's exactly the same model that we employ in the UK, minimising the involvement of the middleman in order to deliver greater value for our customers."

     Executive Director of Wm Morrison (HK) Ltd, Mr Bob Guard, said, "Our company will be able to source new and innovative products and provide value-for-money for Morrisons' customers in the UK by having a presence in one of the world's leading trading hubs, from which we aim to further strengthen our presence in Asia in future."

     "We chose to set up our sourcing arm in Hong Kong instead of elsewhere in Asia because Hong Kong is located on the doorstep of Mainland China and within five hours' flying time of most of the region's key cities, which are the major sources of our products. The availability of diverse and high calibre talent is also an attraction. The ease of setting up a company in a legal system very similar to the UK is undoubtedly another important factor," Mr Guard said.

     Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Simon Galpin, warmly welcomed the establishment of Wm Morrison (HK) Ltd in Hong Kong. He said, "For more than a decade, Hong Kong has been a stable and dynamic sourcing hub in Asia. Overseas businesses will find ready access to excellent infrastructure, professional services firms, logistical support and an experienced workforce to oversee their expanding operations in the region. For managers overseeing global supply chains, Hong Kong is an ideal location for establishing regional headquarters or regional offices."

     Starting a business in Hong Kong, for companies large and small, has been further facilitated with the launch of the Government's electronic incorporation service in March 2011. The time required for company incorporation and business registration has now been significantly reduced from four to one working day.

About Wm Morrison (HK) Ltd

     Established in 1899, Morrisons is currently the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK employing more than 132 000 staff with 455 stores. In the financial year ended January 31, 2011, the company recorded turnover of more than 16 billion British pounds, a seven percent increase over the previous year. The company established its Asian sourcing arm in Hong Kong, Wm Morrison (HK) Ltd, in June 2011. For more information, please visit

About Invest Hong Kong

     Invest Hong Kong is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government established in July 2000 to take responsibility for Foreign Direct Investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong's vibrant economy. As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, Invest Hong Kong has completed over 2 100 investment projects creating over 26 000 new jobs in the first year of operation or expansion and HK$57 billion of investment. For more information, please visit

     For event photos, please visit .

Ends/Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:09


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