UK supermarket group Morrisons has appointed Gordon Mowat as managing director of its convenience arm, M Local, in a bid to drive growth at the unit.

Mowat, currently group strategy director, will oversee an accelerated roll out of M local outlets. Initially the drive will focus on store openings in London and the South East, regions where Morrisons is traditionally weaker than its peers.

Mowat will oversee all aspects of the M local business including the proposition, site acquisition and operations, Morrisons said today (5 October).

In September, Morrisons announced that it plans to open 70 M local outlets by the end of 2013. Currently, the group has five M local stores.

Morrisons hopes to differentiate its convenience chain by focusing on its fresh offering and product quality. All M locals will have over 100 lines of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as strong presence for fresh meat, fish and bakery, Morrisons emphasised.

“Too often convenience shopping is about compromise as customers get second best on range, freshness and price. M locals show there is a better way to serve customers, with half the space dedicated to fresh food and scratch cooking all at very competitive prices,” Morrisons CEO, Dalton Philips said. “We are now ready to expand at pace and I am delighted that Gordon will be spearheading the growth of M locals, particularly into London and the South East.

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